News story

Review of pre-charge detention

Home Secretary says that the maximum length for detaining a terror suspect before they are charged should be renewed.

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

Theresa May has today proposed that the 28 day maximum period of detention should be renewed for a six months while counter-terrorism legislation as a whole is reviewed.

An order was laid in Parliament this morning and the renewal will be debated before the summer recess.

The government will now look at pre-charge detention with a view to reducing the maximum detention period. This will form part of a wider counter-terrorism legislation review which is due to report to Parliament in the autumn.

A temporary measure

The Home Secretary said: ‘It is vital that we support the police and other agencies in their work to keep us safe from terrorism. We face a serious threat, and the nature of modern international terrorism means that police investigations can be longer and more complex than they have been in the past. At the same time, as a government we are also committed to safeguarding the rights and liberties of the public.
‘To ensure this balance is appropriately set, the government has made clear its commitment to review counter-terrorism legislation and pre-charge detention will form part of that review.
‘Whilst we would not wish to pre-judge the outcome of the review, both parties in the coalition are clear that the 28-day maximum period should be a temporary measure, and one that we will be looking to reduce it over time.’

Read the written ministerial statement

Read a PDF of the full written statement.


Published 24 June 2010