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07 April 17

Rapid DNA Testing can play crucial role new 28-day Police bail limit

A 28-day limit on police bail came in to force on 3rd April 2017 as part of The Police and Crime act.

The key aim of the limit is to reduce the number of suspects that remain on pre-charge police bail for a long period of time.

Pre-charge bail has been described as an essential and useful tool for the police but too many people are remaining on bail without charge for months and, in some cases, years.

Under the new measures police will have to review all suspects that are on bail after they reach the 28-day period. Police will have to either charge or release the suspect from bail and any related bail conditions depending on the outcome of their investigation up until that point.

Up until now there has been no legal limit on the length of time a suspect can remain on bail.

As a result of the 28-day limit, it is essential that police forces are able to work quickly and efficiently in order to meet the new requirements.

Andy Ward, deputy general secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales commented on the announcement of the 28-day bail limit – “The results for detailed forensic tests also take some time to come back.”

Rapid DNA profiling makes the process of identifying or exonerating a suspect easier and faster than ever before. DNA samples can be processed and uploaded to the National DNA Database in a matter of minutes rather than days or weeks when using traditional laboratory-based DNA profiling methods. 

Says Carolyn Lovell, Deputy Head of Scientific Services for Hampshire Constabulary: “Hampshire is already planning implementation of this technology to support the investigation of serious and sexual offences, with the aim of delivering faster responses for DNA results, reducing bail time and supporting better outcomes for victims of sexual assault.”

With the help of this technology, police forces can reduce the number of suspects that are released on pre-charge bail and, in turn, reduce the number of suspects subject to the 28-day limit. This improves efficiency in investigations, processing individuals faster and allowing the police to progress with their investigations.

This also benefits suspects that are innocent as they do not have bail and related conditions hanging over them, removing unnecessary stress and worry.

Our rapid DNA profiling technology can also aid the police in ongoing investigations as they can run searches on the NDNAD to see if a suspect’s profile provides a match to a profile found at other crime scenes. The police may have the opportunity to charge  the suspect they have in custody if they are wanted in connection with historic or open cases.

This can be done whilst a suspect is in custody, removing the risk of them being released on pre-charge bail and either absconding or re-offending.

Providing a same day DNA profiling service using the innovative RapidHIT technology removes the burden of the 28-day bail limit that police forces are now facing.

While you wait DNA service is now routine and not a premium service only used in complex cases. Gone are the days of waiting weeks for forensic evidence. 

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