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President responds to Government announcements on proposed changes to bail reforms

Today, Thursday 14th January, the government has published the results of a consultation into pre-charge bail, with a series of proposed new measures, which will be brought before Parliament this year.

The Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) has welcomed the announcement, following years of involvement with the bail reform agenda, working closely with the Home Office to shape and influence positive changes to this key part of day-to-day policing.
In 2016, PSA President Paul Griffiths, who served as vice president at the time, argued against the proposed legislation that drastically changed the use of police bail.
The Police Act of 2017 contained changes to bail legislation which the association spoke out against, and which were opposed by key policing leaders.
In 2019 the new government administration agreed to review the legislation following Service concerns and the PSA has worked closely with the Home Office Powers Unit on a wholesale review of bail.
Paul and PSA Bail lead, Superintendent Peter Crowcroft from Cheshire Police, were involved in developing a framework for the resulting consultation, and provided evidence, insight and recommendations on the most effective measures to support victims, witnesses, offenders and the criminal justice system. 
PSA President Paul Griffiths explains; “The Police Act of 2017 changed many of the processes associated with the bail of suspects, a process aligned to ensuring swift, effective investigations, and the safeguarding of victims. Our association strongly opposed these changes and has been appealing to government officials against them for over four years.

“We have been in regular consultation and engagement regarding the consultation and subsequent recommendations to address this.  Our input and advice focused on ensuring that the protection of victims, fair justice for suspects and the efficiency of policing returns to the centre of this legislation.

“If approved, these changes will put the entire system in a much better position, and we are proud to have played a part in this crucial work.”

Further information on the government consultation and recommendations can be viewed here.