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Electronic bail debacle reinforces need for bail reform

Electronic bail debacle reinforces urgent need for bail reform

The Sensible Sentencing Trust say public safety must be of paramount consideration in all bail decisions, including those where electronic bail is being considered.

Trust Spokesman, Garth McVicar was commenting after the Herald revealed that the Police have asked for a cap on the number placed on e-bail due to budget restraints.

Mr Mcvicar said the memo obtained by the Herald revealed what a debacle the whole area of bail had become.

“A number of homicides and numerous violent offences committed over the Christmas / New Year period were committed by people already on bail for previous violent offences, but strict suppression orders stop us naming the offenders. Suffice to say the public will be horrified when they realize that even after the Christie Marceau catastrophe bail is still being granted far too easily.”

“Electronic bail decisions are often margin calls, where the accused may not be trusted to be on bail with conditions. If Police have genuine resource constraints in monitoring and managing e-bail, then our view is that the Judge's decision should be to hold the accused in custody, for the protection of the public and victims. Margin calls should always favour public safety.” ENDS

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