News and Comments

Government responds to pre-charge bail consultation

Government response

12 February 2021
Government responds to pre-charge bail consultation

The government has published its response to the Home Office consultation on police powers relating to the use of pre-charge bail. The paper sets out a summary of the responses to the consultation and how the consultation process influenced the final development of the proposals.

The government acknowledges that the changes brought in by the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which introduced the presumption against using pre-charge bail, have inadvertently led to an increase in the number of people who are ‘released under investigation’ (RUI). The government aims to legislate to remove the presumption against the use of pre-charge bail and to make it easier to use pre-charge bail in cases where it is necessary and proportionate.

The government also intends to amend the statutory framework governing pre-charge bail timescales and authorisations, meaning that:

a) The initial bail period can be extended to three months by a custody officer

b) The first extension up to six months can be made by an inspector

c) The second extension up to nine months can be made by a superintendent

d) The third extension beyond nine months can be made in the magistrates’ court (and at three month intervals if further extension is needed)

The government agreed that RUI is an unsatisfactory process. However they decided against introducing set timescales into the RUI process as they believe that the use of RUI will drop significantly with the removal of the presumption against bail.  

The full government response can be found here and the MA response to the consultation can be found here.

Previous Article MA responds to modern slavery consultation
Next Article £70 million investment in accommodation for prison leavers

Please login or register to post comments.