When the police arrest an individual, they interview the same day. If they do not make a decision to charge that person, they bail ‘pre-charge’. Traditionally the bail pre-charge period would be for a few weeks while the custody officer makes enquiries and reaches a decision. Occasionally in a more complicated case then it might have been some months before a charge or no charge decision is made.
However, there has been a growing trend to extend the period between arrest and charge or of notification of no further action. This trend is causing a lot of people police considerable concern. Not all the reasons for the delay are good ones.
For example the Crown Prosecution Service not being as efficient as they ought to be; the police not having time and resource to be quicker in the process or even the officer concerned not being on duty on the bail date. The delay can go on for months and months. And for the individual there are often conditions attached to the bail which inhibit the individual’s behaviour. Of course at this point not only is the suspect not convicted he has not even been charged with an offence.
Recently the police consulted widely on how the problem, which they recognise at least at national level, could be improved. At Gotelee we agree and have considerable experience of these events . If you have concerns ring Hugh Rowland our criminal lawyer in Ipswich and take his advice. He can also meet you at our offices in Hadleigh and Felixstowe.