Edmonton Police say the name and photo of a 16-year-old sought in a warrant crackdown was accidentally published in two newspapers and on their website.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act prohibits the identification of anyone with a warrant under the age of 18. Police have since removed the picture of the girl — who her family says was wanted for outstanding transit violations — from their website

Police spokeswoman Patricia Thenu said the publication of the girl's identity "happened accidentally" and that "the appropriate chain of command" has been notified.

The ads shocked the girl's grandmother, who also cannot be identified by law.

"I was shocked when her name was there because I got calls from family," the woman told CBC News.

The gaffe also surprised members of the city's legal community.

Youth criminal lawyer Rick Stroppel said he was shocked to see the girl's photo in the paper.

"I frankly just about fell off my chair," he said. "Anybody who knows anything about the principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act knows that this is wrong."

Edmonton Police launched Operation Warrant Execution last month in a bid to clear more than 16,000 outstanding warrants.

Scofflaws had until April 2 to turn themselves in before police started showing their faces and names on the police website and in advertisements.