This is a very significant case in relation to police bail. The Court has held that the custody clock does not stop once an individual under investigation is released from custody on bail. The implication therefore is that once an individual is arrested the Police are now unlikely to be able to release them on bail for the amount of time they currently are.
Various Police forces appear to be applying the judgment differently, some believing that it applies to all custody periods, others only to extension beyond 24 hours.
Although this case may prove a catalyst for changes in certain aspects of police operational procedures, we believe that the potential legal implications presently reported by the press are unsubstantiated and in places inaccurate.
If you are currently on police bail then you are urged to fully comply with all necessary conditions and stipulations. The Greater Manchester Police v Hookway case does not have any bearing upon the legality of the conditions of bail for others at this time and as such failure to attend or comply as required is a criminal offence.
We intend to keep a very close eye on any developments in this case and will ensure our clients are fully advised at all times.
Should you have any questions or queries about this them please do not hesitate to contact us.
(Greater Manchester Police v (1) Hookway, (2) Salford Magistrates’ Court, AC, 19 May 2011)
BBC UPDATE http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13970159>
Home Office Update http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/news/police-bail-powers
BBC UPDATE http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-14052874
UPDATE – 13th July 2011
Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011
This Act received Royal Assent yesterday and is now law. The Act reverses the effect of R (Greater Manchester Police) v Hookway which means that periods on bail do not count towards the total detention period.