There are new time limits on police bail before charge

We can apply to vary police bail

Under the  Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022  police can now give suspects bail for up to 3 months. Where this is insufficient then an  officer whose rank is inspector or above can extend it to six months. But that is not the end of it,  for if there is still more evidence gathering or decision making to do a superintendent can extend bail by another three months making a total possible time on bail of up to nine months.


At all stages a suspect’s representative has the right to make representations both at the imposing of conditions and at the review stage. Further there is a right to apply to magistrate’s court to remove or vary conditions if the police refuse to do so. Advocacy Assistance is available.

Where the police do decide that they want bail conditions they have to be satisfied that the conditions proposed are necessary and proportionate in all the circumstances. It is then open to the suspect’s solicitor to make representations that the test is not met or that the conditions are unduly harsh and should be reduced.

The conditions usually imposed will be designed to reduce  the prospect of a suspect absconding, interfering with witnesses, committing further offences or otherwise obstructing justice. Each category will have to be justified and there is ample opportunity for a skilful solicitor to challenge both the necessity or the proportionality of conditions.  

Passport return?

A common scenario is a condition that a passport should be surrendered. This may be disproportionate where the offence is not of the most serious type and the consequence the cancellation of a pre-booked trip. Solicitors should always seek to make representations to a superintendent on the 28-day review.

Apply to vary bail

We will apply to vary bail for any client on police bail pending a charging decision, even where we did not represent the client at the police station.  We will approach the investigating officer, make written representations to a superintendent on the 28-day review and apply to the magistrates court.

Contact Gil Spurling  if you wish to vary your police bail on 0208 986 8336 or use our contact forms or e-mail.

Gil Spurling –  head of crime.

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