Changes to police bail has led to further delays and more uncertainty

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In the Cambridgeshire force region, the length of time it takes to come to a decision, went up from an average of 57 to 155 days and in Suffolk it rose from 54 days to 137.

Commenting on the findings, Jenny Wiltshire, Head of General Crime at Hickman & Rose solicitors, said: “The changes to the police bail regulations were meant to end the injustice of people being kept in legal limbo for months on end as they waited for police to decide what to do. This shows the problem hasn’t gone away. In fact it’s got worse.

“Whereas criminal suspects were previously kept waiting for far too long on bail; now they are kept waiting for even longer while ‘under investigation’.

“In one way this new ‘under investigation’ status is even worse than bail as police are not obliged provide updates on how the case is progressing nor when it may end.

“People, who may be innocent of any crime, are forced to put their whole lives on hold – and live under a cloud of suspicion – as they wait for the police to make up their minds without any idea of when this might happen.

“That this problem would occur under the new bail regime was obvious when these changes were first mooted.

“If the government want to achieve speedier resolution of crimes they need to do more than impose unrealistic deadlines on already pressed police forces. They need to provide funding that would enable the police to do their job properly.”

The changes to the bail regime were introduced following a number of notorious high profile cases.

Broadcaster, Paul Gambaccini, spent more than a year on police bail after being arrested in connection with historic sex allegations.



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