Pre-charge Bail

Pre-charge bail – the mechanism by which suspects may be released from police detention and released on bail whilst further enquiries are undertaken - is an important, coercive and controversial police power. The research carried out by Professor Anthea Hucklesby is the first independent investigation of the use of pre-charge bail in two police forces in England. The more specific objectives were:

  • To explore the categories of suspects who are bailed before charge;
  • To examine the circumstances in which pre-charge bail is used and the justifications for its use;
  • To explore any patterns in the use of pre-charge bail;
  • To investigate the impact of the use of pre-charge bail on the management of custody suites; and
  • To explore investigating officers views of pre-charge bail, its use and management.

The research used a mixed method approach (observations, an analysis of administrative data (n=14,173), interviews (n=38) and questionnaires (n=297)).

A summary of the findings is available here:

Professor Anthea Hucklesby’s response to the Home Office is available here:

Professor Anthea Hucklesby’s evidence to the Select Committee on the Policing and Crime Bill is available here:

Presentations from the seminar held on 17 June 2015 are available here:

Also read Professor Anthea Hucklesby’s responses to the College of Policing consultation on The use of pre-charge bail (2014) and the Home Office consultation on the Pre-charge bail: Introduction of Statutory Time Limits and Related changes.