Consultation outcome

Pre-charge bail: consultation on statutory time limits and related changes

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Pre-charge bail: summary of consultation responses and proposals for legislation

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Pre-charge bail: summary of consultation responses and proposals for legislation (Welsh version)

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Consultation response counts

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Detail of outcome

These documents set out the government’s response to the issues raised during the consultation, the impact of our proposed changes and details of the 300 responses we received.

The measures we propose to take forward include:

  • making a statutory presumption to release without bail, only imposing bail where it’s both necessary and proportionate
  • introducing a statutory expectation that pre-charge bail won’t last longer than 28 days, after which a police superintendent must review the case and may extend bail to three months; any pre-charge bail periods over three months will require judicial agreement
  • establishing a framework for regular review of pre-charge bail by the courts
  • introducing formal guidance on the imposition of conditions
  • collecting and publishing consistent data on the use of pre-charge bail as part of the Annual Data Requirement (ADR) process

Original consultation

Summary

The government is consulting on statutory time limits on the use of pre-charge bail to reduce both the number of individuals on, and the length of, pre-charge bail.

This consultation ran from
to

Consultation description

The government is consulting on a series of measures whose overall impact should be to reduce both the number of individuals subject to, and the average duration of, pre-charge bail.

This consultation builds upon, and is complementary to, that carried out by the College of Policing between 27 March and 19 June 2014, the responses to which have just been published.

The measures being consulted upon include:

  • enabling the police to release someone pending further investigation without bail in circumstances where bail is not considered to be necessary
  • setting a clear expectation that pre-charge bail should not last longer than a specified finite period of 28 days, as recommended by the College of Policing
  • setting the extenuating circumstances in which that period might be extended further, and who should make that decision
  • establishing a framework for the review by the courts of pre-charge bail
  • considering whether extension of pre-charge bail should only be available in certain types of case, such as fraud or tax evasion, or in all cases where there are exceptional reasons for an extended investigation
  • considering how best to enable the police to obtain timely evidence from other public authorities
  • considering whether individuals subject to pre-charge bail should be able to challenge the duration as well as the conditions in the courts

How to respond

You can complete the online survey

Responses must be received by 8 February 2015

You can also email your response to the following address: pacereview@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Or send it by post to:

Pre-charge bail review
Police Integrity and Powers Unit
6th Floor NW, Fry Building
Home Office
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

If you have any queries regarding the consultation or your proposed response, please contact the Police Integrity and Powers Unit.

Documents

Pre-charge bail consultation document

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Published 17 December 2014
Last updated 24 March 2015 + show all updates
  1. added welsh version of response document
  2. added government response to issues raised during consultation
  3. First published.