News story

Police bail bill progresses through Commons

Police (Detention and Bail) Bill has been passed by MPs in Parliament today.

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

The Police (Detention and Bail) Bill  was pushed through the House of Commons in just one day to reverse a High Court ruling that said the time suspects spend on bail should count towards the maximum period of detention allowed before a charge is made.

The police said this ruling would have a serious impact on their ability to investigate crime.

Keeping the public safe

Speaking in Parliament today, Theresa May explained: ‘Being held in custody in a police cell, is clearly not the same as being free on police bail, even with conditions attached.

‘For more than 25 years, this sensible interpretation of the law has enabled the police to investigate crimes and keep the public safe.’

She went on to explain that police judgement and leading expertise has guided the government’s decision to introduce this emergency legislation.

‘Only fast-track primary legislation can give the police the necessary certainty and immediacy in restoring the law as it was understood to operate,’ she added.

Parliamentary scrutiny

The Bill will now be considered by the House of Lords.

It is hoped that the Bill will become law next week.


Published 7 July 2011