Release under investigation

7 November 2019

Release under investigation (RUI) is used by the police instead of bail – but unlike bail it has no time limits or conditions. This can leave the accused and victims in limbo with no updates on their case for an unlimited time.

There also is evidence that there are people being released under investigation who are potentially a risk to victims of crime and the public in general, rather than being put on bail as would be more appropriate. This particularly impacts on victims, who may be targeted again by the same perpetrator.

For example:

An individual was arrested for rape and placed under bail. He was accused of a further sexual offence against the same complainant, but was then then released under investigation under the original rape accusation due to bail not being extended. This meant he was released with no conditions.

We are calling on the Government to improve RUI by introducing a range of measures including placing time limits on their usage and ensuring it is no longer used for people who are a potential risk to the public.

Our analysis received coverage in over 115 news outlets including Channel 4 News, the Daily Mail, the Guardian and the Express. Following our campaign, the Home Office announced a review of RUI. We will feed into this in due course.

Read more about our policy calls on RUI in our briefing (Word 772 KB)  

Download the data showing how regularly RUI is used across the country (Word 27 KB)

release under investigation

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