Government's Bail Laws Will Be Big Help To Police

  • Clem Simich

"The Government's Bail Bill, that received its second reading under urgency last night, will be a great help to Police in their efforts to keep repeat offenders off the streets", Police Minister Clem Simich, said today.

"The Bill reverses the onus of proof for bail applications in cases where people on bail have demonstrated they can not be trusted to honour their bail privilege.

"People who re-offend while on bail will have to prove to the court that they can be trusted to receive bail again, rather the Police having to prove that they can't. This will make continuation of bail much tougher for repeat offenders.

"The Government's bail reforms will also put in the hands of the Police and the Courts the information they need to make the right decisions about bail applications.

"The Government has initiated a project in the Department for Courts where, for the first time, information on a defendant ?s past record of offending while on bail will be readily available to the Police and the Court. This sort of information will ensure that those who have proven that they cannot be trusted while on bail in the past may not be trusted in the future.

"The Government has also recognised that there have been difficulties in the past with bail applications and appeals coming at short notice, making it difficult for the Police to prepare cases opposing bail.

"While Courts themselves have made rules to significantly improve this situation, the Government's new Bail Bill will make provision for these rules to be formalised in written law.

"The Police will also welcome the strengthening of victims rights by making their safety the primary concern when judges consider bail for cases involving repeat serious violent offending and re-offending while on bail", Mr Simich concluded.