A teenager from Londonderry has lost a Supreme Court case against the PSNI in respect of publishing photographs of young people believed to be involved in riots.
The teenager, now 18, was just 14 when he was involved in rioting at an interface area of the city in July 2010.
CCTV images of him were published in two city newspapers as part of the police campaign ‘Operation Exposure’, but he and his parents claimed the images breached his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights.
The Supreme Court dismissed the application and ruled in favour of the PSNI.
The Supreme Court found that the publication of the images did interfere with the teenager’s right to a private life.
However, they ruled this interference was ‘justified’ because it was necessary for the administration of justice.
The Supreme Court said that the police were entitled to disclose the images under the Data Protection Act 1998 as the ‘publication was for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension and prosecution of offenders’.
The judges found that the publication of the images ‘struck a fair balance between the interests of the appellant and the community’.
They added: ‘The Appellant stood to benefit from being diverted from criminal activity, as did his community from the prevention of crime and apprehension of offenders’.