Further to the article published on this website on 23rd January 2020 in relation to Police powers and the release of suspects who remain under investigation, the Government announced on 5th February 2020 its proposals to re-consider the situation and to engage in further consultation.
Suki Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the position.
Matters For Consideration | Kangs Police Station Defence Solicitors
It is proposed that views on the following proposals will be sought:
- removing the presumption against pre-charge bail;
- placing a duty on Police Officers to use pre-charge bail, where necessary and proportionate, which would apply in cases involving safeguarding risks to victims, witnesses and the public to prevent further offending or where the offence in question has significant real or intended impact;
- lowering the rank of Police Officer entitled to authorise and extend pre-charge bail;
- extending the initial pre-charge bail that can be applied from 28 to either 60 or 90 days;
- delaying the point at which Magistrates’ Court approval for the extension of bail is required from 3 months to 6, 9 or 12 months; and
- introducing review points in Codes of Practice for investigations where pre-charge bail is not used – including where individuals are interviewed voluntarily or released under investigation.
Potential Effects Of Proposed Changes | Kangs Criminal Investigation Team
- Under the current system, it is not uncommon for suspects to be released under investigation for months on end, not being aware whether they will eventually face Prosecution or not.
- Under the proposed changes the presumption against the use of bail will no longer prevail.
- The Police will need to decide upon a risk-based approach when considering bail and release under investigation.
- Those bailed may be subjected to conditions which conditional bail may extend for far longer than is the current practice.
- Ultimately, however, even after further bail extensions, where no charging decision has been made, the suspect can still be released under investigation, as is currently the position, attending the Police Station under arrest or voluntarily.
- There is nothing to suggest that those facing charges will be dealt with any quicker than is currently the position.
How Can We Assist? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
We will seek to have matters expedited and challenge the Police where they seek to extend hearings of bail which are not merited.
Who Do I Need To Contact For Assistance? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
Please do not hesitate to contact any of the following for an initial consultation: