HL Deb 10 May 1983 vol 442 c456WA
Lord Harris of Greenwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress has been made in establishing bail verification schemes at magistrates' courts and whether they propose to extend the number of such schemes in view of the urgent need to reduce the remand population in prisons.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Elton)

In 1975 a Home Office circular commended to magistrates' courts a bail information scheme introduced experimentally at Camberwell Green magistrates' court. Between 1975 and 1980, 37 schemes were known to have been established. By 1980 some courts had already abandoned their schemes following the introduction of the Bail Act 1976, and others did so with the establishment of duty solicitor schemes. We have no information about the number of bail information schemes which are at present in existence. Their establishment or continuation is a matter for individual magistrates' courts to decide in the light of local needs.