Misinformation

The BBC have just reported that the government are considering emergency legislation to resolve the problems revolving around Hookway.

As one of the most respected news agencies in the UK how can they get things so wrong? Their summary was that since the decision the police can only bail somebody for a maximum of 4 days. How odd that the media have grabbed onto this 4 day (96hr) limit and believe it to be our standard power. We have 24hrs, 36 if certain criteria are met.

So for example. If the judgement is followed to the letter. A male arrested for theft arrives in custody at 11pm. He is drunk and deemed not to be fit for interview until the morning. At 8am an officer is allocated the job and requests the CCTV from the store that wasn’t available overnight. It takes 2 hours for this to be done. The male wants a solicitor. He is eventually interviewed at 1pm. He denies the offence and offers an alibi. We try to contact the alibi but are unable to do so. We cannot consider charge until we have ruled out the alibi so are forced to bail at 3pm. Male has been in custody for 16hrs.

Under the Hookway judgement we cannot bail this man for 4 days. We can bail him for 8hrs at which point the clock will have expired. Do you now as a law abiding citizen fearing crime see how absurd this judgement is?

Why is it that media companies peddle such misinformation from a position of little to no understanding of real police work? Then again isn’t this what is mirrored in this risible judgement?

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2 thoughts on “Misinformation”

  1. You can bail for as long as you like, it is just the conditions which are pointless.

    So arrest with full file, investigations all pursued, then go to CPS within first 24 hours or after extension.

    Or, in circs where quick arrest necessary as unplanned, arrest, if not enough evidence to go to CPS, NFA (or “release pending further investigations” whatever you like to call it) and then rearrest when new evidence is found. Definition of 'new' obviously needs clarifying as evidence cannot be that known of at time of arrest or detention but not pursued yet i.e. witness statements taken.

    Bit of a mess!

    The ability to bail has not been taken away though, just the ability to detain. Summons for charge of course is still available should they not answer bail back date and DPs should be made aware of this.

  2. Pre charge police bail conditions under 37(7) and 37(2) are a strange kettle of fish to say the least. They are much misunderstood by police, solicitors and courts. They can be very useful to offer control of an offender and reassurance to a victim. But like anything, if used without proper consideration their potency and effect is minimised. The main difficulty arises on an arrest for a breach. If the enqs for the full code test are not complete then the only options are to rebail with same conditions or consider charge/remand based on threshold test. But the problem of no PACE time is then a huge issue.

    Let's hope the Govt get the bill right tomorrow.

    The new evidence matter is wide open to interpretation at the moment. There is no case law I know of.

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