Changes to police bail ‘should not be rushed’

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GOVERNMENT plans to limit police bail should not be rushed through, the man who represents rank-and-file police has said.

There is no current legal time limit to bail. The Home Office wants to limit pre-charge bail to 28 days and the College of Policing has argued for 56 days as a compromise.

Under the plans, longer bail could be granted by senior officers or a magistrate.

John Apter, Hampshire Police Federation chairman, said restrictive time limits could interfere with investigations involving forensic or IT analysis.

He said: ‘It is right and proper that there is scrutiny applied when people are bailed but I would urge the Home Office to listen to the views of those officers who investigate crimes. Imposing unrealistic time restrictions on bail time limits will impact on delivering justice, this is in nobody’s interest.

‘This shouldn’t be rushed through for political reasons, the Home Office must listen to the practitioners.’