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Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011

Type of Bill:
Government Bill
Mrs Theresa May
Home Office
Baroness Browning
Home Office

Progress of the Bill

Bill started in the House of Commons

  1. House of Commons
    1. 1st reading
    2. 2nd reading
    3. Committee stage
    4. Report stage
    5. 3rd reading
  2. House of Lords
    1. 1st reading
    2. 2nd reading
    3. Committee stage
    4. Report stage
    5. 3rd reading
  3. Consideration of Amendments
  4. Royal Assent

Act of Parliament

House Act Date
Commons Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011 c.9 13.07.2011

Latest news on the Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 12 July. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament (law).

Summary of the Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) sets out the length of time that a suspect can be detained in police custody after arrest before being charged or released (with or without bail).

A suspect can be detained for an initial period of up to 24 hours starting from the 'relevant time' - usually the time of arrival at a police station following arrest. This period can be extended for up to a further 12 hours on the authority of a police officer of the rank of superintendent or above, and subsequent court applications may enable the detention period to be extended to a maximum of 96 hours.

It had previously been assumed that releasing a suspect on bail effectively paused the 'detention clock', so that when the suspect answered police bail and was re-detained, the clock could then be restarted, even if the re-detention was at a point later than 96 hours after the 'relevant time'.

However, a recent High Court decision - the Hookway case - ruled that this was not the case and that the maximum 96-hour period specified in the Act runs from the relevant time and cannot be suspended and re-started.

The Bill would reverse the effect of this High Court decision.

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