Campaigners call for bail law change

A group of MPs, lawyers and campaigners have written to several newspapers to call for police bail to be capped at 28 days. They warn that innocent people are being left on pre-charge bail for years in some cases.

Pre-charge bail was introduced in 1984 under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act to allow officers to put restrictions on individuals before there is enough evidence to charge. The letter is signed by 25 people, including retired judge Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, civil rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy, and a cross-party group of MPs.

It describes it as a scandal that 72,000 people are on pre-charge bail – more than 5,000 of them for more than six months.