Derbyshire Police Federation

‘Kay’s Law’: pre-charge bail reform welcomed

15 January 2021

Reform of pre-charge bail under ‘Kay’s Law’ has been welcomed by the chair of Derbyshire Police Federation.

The reform, which will see initial pre-charge bail increased from 28 to 90 days, should prevent people being released under investigation for long periods, says Tony Wetton.

“This will be better for the victims of crime and will also cut red tape for police officers,” says Tony.

The Home Office yesterday published its response to a consultation on the issue.

Under the new arrangements, extensions to bail beyond the 90 days will have to be signed off by an inspector or senior officer.

While Home Secretary, former prime minister Theresa May pushed through a 28-day cap on pre-charge bail as part of the Policing and Crime Act in 2017 despite the Federation arguing against this move and predicting pre-charge bail would drop dramatically and more suspects would be released under investigation.

Figures released under Freedom of Information laws have borne this out, showing the number of suspected offenders released while still under investigation rose from 6,464 in 2016 to 97,473 in 2019. These included violent and sexual offenders as well as domestic abusers.

The latest package of reform will be called ‘Kay’s Law’ in memory of Kay Richardson who was murdered by her ex-partner after he was released under investigation for domestic abuse.

Read the Government response to the consultation.

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