19 October 2020
Not reviewed after the date of publication
If a suspect has been released under investigation, under what circumstances can the suspect be re-arrested and would the original custody clock apply?
The words 'released under investigation' or 'RUI' are not specifically stated/quoted in the legislation; in the legislation it simply refers to 'released without charge'. The decision to release under investigation is provided in section 37, specifically (7)(b), (7A) and (8) of PACE. Our interpretation of these provisions is that a decision has been made to release the suspect without bail, as the preconditions of bail are not satisfied, but there are further lines of investigation to pursue in relation to the offence, and therefore the case is not closed. Section 37(8) states the suspect should be informed of the decision taken against them and are given a notice of this. Section 37(8ZA) provides that the custody officer must make a determination (at some point) whether to decide no further action, or take the prosecution forward. A decision to release under investigation essentially means that the police are continuing their enquiries to gather additional evidence, but they do not have sufficient evidence to charge at this point.
It is possible to re-arrest a person who has been released under investigation, if fresh evidence comes to light. This allows officers to progress the investigation by interviewing the suspect regarding the new evidence. If a suspect is arrested on fresh evidence, a new custody clock begins.