Police Bail

19/12/2014

We are a leading criminal defence firm and routinely represent people at the Police Station who go on to be released on Police bail whilst the Police continue to investigate whether they have committed an offence.
Unfortunately, the current position is that the Police can decide how long a suspect can remain on Police bail. We have seen investigations last a number of weeks and even months. This power is sometimes used in conjunction with bail conditions which can restrict the liberty of a person suspected of committing a criminal offence. This can be viewed as unfair especially as at that point there is not sufficient evidence to justify a charge.
Therefore, today’s announcement by the Home Secretary that there are proposals afoot to limit Police bail to a maximum of 28 days is to be welcomed. This should provide the Police with sufficient time to investigate all but the most complicated of offences. If they require more time then they will need to apply to a Magistrates Court who will hopefully scrutinise such applications as to whether they are in the interests of justice.

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