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Police and Justice Act 2006

Section 10 and Schedule 6: Police bail

142.Section 10 and Schedule 6 amend the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). As PACE stands, a police officer may only attach conditions to bail if the person bailed has been charged, or if his case has been referred to the CPS for a decision on whether or not to charge him. The effect of the amendments made by section 10 and Schedule 6 is that a police officer may attach conditions to bail granted at a police station before charge under section 37(2) and 37(7)(b) of PACE, and to bail granted elsewhere than at a police station (“street bail”) under section 30A.

143.Section 10 and Schedule 6 will enable the officer granting bail to consider attaching conditions relevant and proportionate to the suspect and the offence. The conditions that can be imposed must be necessary to secure that the person surrenders to custody, that the person does not commit an offence while on bail, or that the person does not interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice. Where the person is under the age of 17 conditions may also be applied for their welfare, or in their own interest. No recognizance, security or surety may be taken and no requirement to reside in a bail hostel may be imposed.

144.Where conditions are applied to street bail, the person who has been bailed subject to conditions will have the right to apply for variation of conditions to a custody officer and to a magistrates’ court. A record will be made of the exercise of the power and a copy provided to the person explaining their rights.

145.The proposed measures reflect bail provisions already available in relation to people at the charging stage of the process.

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