Use of bail in domestic abuse cases

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women 2:30 pm, 17th June 2020

Obviously, I am concerned to hear that. I take the point about risk assessment and will raise it with the NPCC lead. The hon. Member for Hove referred to the forthcoming police powers and protections Bill, but in the interim I very much want that to be considered.

We have worked closely with policing partners and other partners across the criminal justice system to track its implementation and monitor its impact, and we know that the use of pre-charge bail has fallen significantly. We have listened carefully to these concerns, and in November, as the hon. Gentleman said, we announced a review of pre-charge bail to address concerns raised about the impact of current rules on the police, victims, those under investigation and the broader criminal justice system. We launched a public consultation in February, which closed on 29 May. We received more than 1,000 responses, which we are analysing before deciding how best to proceed.

However, I very much take the point about the needs before the police powers and protections Bill is introduced, but our concern is that we cannot deal with this in a piecemeal, offence-specific manner; we have to take a holistic approach to changing the pre-charge bail system. This Bill is not the correct vehicle for that but, as the hon. Gentleman said, the police powers and protections Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech may well be.