Judges were blown up last night for failing to name the culprits – to protect their human rights.
The Supreme Court said that identifying those arrested but not yet indicted would violate their right to privacy.
This means that alleged terrorists, rapists and violent criminals will be kept secret – preventing victims or witnesses from coming forward.
It also raises the fear that the police, in the wake of the recent Met scandals, may take action without proper investigation.
Dan Alford, executive director of the Society of Editors, warned that the decision would have “far-reaching effects”.
He said: “It is well documented that identifying the suspects will allow other complainants to come forward with witnesses for any future prosecution or defense.
“In addition, it is important that police actions remain open for scrutiny.”
Leading lawyer Matthew Dundo told the FT that the decision came as a shock to the media and that the scales were too strong to suppress information.
He added: “It is gratifying that in a modern democracy there is now a general expectation of secrecy in the fact that the state investigates.”
The decision could have prevented more victims of TV presenter Stuart Hall’s sexual harassment from coming to light after his arrest in 2012.
The publicity surrounding Ralph Harris’ 2013 arrest – who was later jailed for sexually abusing underage girls – yielded similar results.
The Supreme Court’s decision came after an appeal by an American businessman. His company has been under investigation in the UK since 2013 for allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption.
In 2016, media outlet Bloomberg reported that he was questioned as part of an investigation, which is ongoing.
A total of five judges found that he had identified her and misused her personal information. He said there was a “reasonable expectation of confidentiality” before the criminal investigation.
Bloomberg said it was disappointed with the decision, “which we believe prevents journalists from doing one of the most important aspects of their work: the conduct of companies and individuals under proper scrutiny.” And to protect the public from possible abuse. “