If you are under investigation for an offence it is unlikely that specific information about the investigation will find its way into the public domain.
However, where there is media interest, press reports can occur prior to charge. These are likely to be limited in content.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Alison Saunders, has said that prosecutors have been told not to confirm or deny a suspect’s identity before a decision had been made on charging them.
"Investigations should be carried out as quickly as possible with no publicity" and "you don't shout about it before you come to a conclusion"
Times newspaper October 19th 2016
There are two problems with the above statement:
"as quickly as possible"
Unfortunately, in reality, “as quickly as possible “ seldom means less than two months, and in our experience investigations into serious offences, particularly where inaccurate information is alleged or false allegations are being raised, often take in excess of 12 months for a decision to be made by the CPS.
If there is an investigation which is likely to/ or has attracted media attention the police will release limited information about ongoing investigations.
The name of those under investigation will generally not be released, but the sex and age of the suspect, a brief description of the case under investigation, the arrest status and the locality of any arrest will often be issued as a press release.
Where the press have other independent information the press release issued by the police can be enough to confirm the identity of a suspect.
If a press report is likely to occur you should obtain specialist advice from our experts.