Concerns as police 28-day bail limit comes into effect

6th April 2017

Concerns as police 28-day bail limit comes into effect

Police have to release suspects from bail within 28 days unless there are serious concerns.

The move, which came into effect on Monday, follows criticism of people being kept on police bail for months or years without charge in investigations such as Operation Yewtree – into historical sexual abuse – and others.

Previously, there was no legal limit on how long someone could be bailed for.

Under the new rules, police bail can still be extended for up to three months more in complex cases with the authorisation of a senior police officer, or even further by applying to a magistrate.

Paul Gambaccini, the radio presenter who spent a year on bail before the case against him over historical sex allegations was dropped, welcomed the change.

“The knowledge that other people will not have to go through what I did will make my experience more bearable,” he said.

The 28-day limit is one of several measures that took effect on Monday through the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

However, the Royal College of Policing has labelled the introduction of the bail limit as “dangerous”. They say the change could lead to suspects being under investigation by one force without others knowing.

Concerns have also been raised about complex investigations like cyber-crime, which requires computers to be seized and equipment to be interrogated. Similarly, the results for detailed forensic tests can also take an extended period of time to come back.

The likely net effect is that fewer people will be arrested and those that are will most probably be released without bail – with no deadline for police to work towards. Instead, officers may well be forced to ask suspects to attend interviews voluntarily rather than go through the rigmarole of arresting someone, processing bail and then trying to charge them against the 28-day clock.

The Home Office said the change “brings an end to the injustice of people being left to languish on very lengthy periods of pre-charge bail”.

How can our criminal law solicitors help?

If you need advice on any matter relating to Criminal Law, our lawyers can help.

Our lawyers are well respected throughout Suffolk and East Anglia for our ability to minimise the impact and achieve a positive outcome for our clients.

To find out more, contact us on 01473 298140. We also have offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Melton and Woodbridge.

Partner
Practice Areas
Criminal Law Solicitors
Regulatory
Blog Posts

Hundreds of cases dropped over evidence disclosure failings

30/01/2018

The right to a fair trial is one of the fundamental principles of a…

Read More
Upcoming Events

Inheritance Tax and Wills Planning Seminar

07/02/2018

What the seminar will cover... Inheritance Tax: - When does it apply; what are…

Read More
News Posts

Former Manchester City football coach found guilty of sexually abusing young players

14/02/2018

A former youth football coach who worked for Manchester City and Crewe Alexandra has…

Read More

Testimonials

"The friendliness of Sally Pryke making me feel at ease during the whole process"

- BV

"Always kept me informed of the progress"

- CP

"Helen Stuart was fantastic and I couldn't have asked for a better solicitor!"

- KM

"Everything was dealt with in a compassionate and friendly manner"

- AW

"Pat's service is always extremely efficient and very approachable"

- AO

"Relieved that I could leave you to deal with the legal aspect of my late husbands estate"

- DG

"We cannot thank you enough for all your hard work and sticking with us. You have been amazing and showed a lot of patience when dealing with this case and all for no reward for yourself, thank you."

- Dean Kentfield

"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"I have used Tracey Hammond at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact.