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The 28 Day Pre Charge Detention Rule

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
28 Day Pre Charge Detention Indefinite

The 28 day pre charge detention rule is the amount of time a person can be locked up under anti terror laws. The 28 day rule means the UK boasts the longest detention without charge period in the western world.

What Is the 28 Day Pre Charge Detention Rule?

British anti terror laws include detention of those suspected of terrorist activities for 28 days without charge. This means the police can lock up and question anyone they feel may be involved with terrorist activities for 28 days. The suspects do not need to be charged with an offence and do not need to be told why there are being held. The government wanted to introduce a 42 day detention period but this was overruled in 2008. The 28 day pre charge detention rule is seven times the detention period permitted for a person accused of murder.

28 Day Pre Charge Detention and Civil Rights

There has been a great deal of controversy over whether the 28 day pre charge detention rule can be justified. To a great many human and civil rights campaigners this rule does breach the fundamental rights to liberty. These rights to liberty were guaranteed by the European convention on human rights. The Equality and Human Rights Commission stated that the period of detention without charge should start at four days. This should be the rule for all offences up to the act of murder.

The 28 Day Detention Rule and the Magna Carter

One of the founding principles of British justice was set in place in the Magna Carta in 1215; Habeas Corpus. The Magna Carta states that free men could not be imprisoned or arrested unless there was lawful judgement by either their equals or the law of the land. Habeas Corpus was set in place to ensure that the King simply could not lock up someone if they did not like them. It also meant all detention was unlawful unless it had approved by a court. All suspects should be given a charge and a fair trial before they can be sent to prison.

Britain Has One of the Longest Pre Charge Detention Periods

Britain does have one of the longest detention without charge periods in the western world. The USA has a two day detention without charge period while Russia has a five day detention period. According to human rights organisations such as Liberty there is no evidence that the police need longer than 14 days to collect information for a trial. Since the detention period was raised from 14 to 28 days in 2006 only five people have been held for 26 days. Three of the five were released without charge and two were charged but then acquitted of the offences.

Indefinite Detention and House Arrest

Under the rules of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 suspects can also be held under house arrest without charge; known as Control orders. New Labour fast tracked this law into place with parts of the bill unwritten. In their words the unwritten parts of the bill would be completed after the bill was passed. Rules for suspects facing indefinite detention and house arrest included:

  • Strict curfews were to be placed on suspects
  • Suspects cannot go further than one mile from their premises
  • The use of the telephone and the internet is prohibited
  • No visits unless authorised by the Home Office
  • Suspects can be ordered to stay indoors for up to 16 hours per day
  • Some of these rules can apply to the family of the suspect living in the same house
  • Electronic monitoring tags can be placed on the suspect
  • Suspects can be held under house arrest for an indefinite amount of time

How to Help Fight the 28 Day Pre Charge Detention Rule

The 28 day pre charge detention rule is not permanent. MPs do need to vote every year to enable the 28 day rule or it will revert back to 14 days detention without charge. Those who do wish to voice their disapproval against the 28 day rule should write to their MPs. More information on the campaigns to stop the 28 day pre charge detention rule can be found at the Liberty and Amnesty International websites.

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I would like to ask one major question please.My neighbours had went and CAUSED on some trouble.Which I had tried to resolve this matter by trying to speak to there oldest daughter who was causing the trouble.I spoke politely towards her. And her father and mother had attacked me. (During this whole incident I was also trying to detain my young dog). As he was trying to go for the father who was also threatening me.However, they gave out on false accusations against me (which involes with the oldest daughter being false whiteness. Due to the father telling her call police.. before anything had even happened. As she went in her house to do this. And not being there during incident). They placed on to me 2 charges of assault. And false accusations of claiming I was racist. When is not truth. (And also the same family had done very same on to our own housing officer in housing. Which placed complaint saying they where racist towards this family and stalking them). Regards to the injuries I have by this attack which I have photos of PROVE on this. Also police had seen some of the injuries on the night of incident.When I tried to place my rights to place counter charges against those who attacked me... on two occasions. Twice BEING REFUSED this right to counter charge. Which i feel is much wrong being done by police. I feel my own rights have been violated. Thank you.
Maza - 18-Jan-17 @ 11:11 AM
"The 28 day rule means the UK boasts the longest detention without charge period in the western world." Other than say the United States you mean, which has a little thing called Gitmo; you might've heard of it if not fully understanding what it actually is Garry Crystal. And of course it is not something to "boast" about whatsoever.
DC - 29-Dec-16 @ 11:12 PM
"wait until IS take control of the UK because of fools like you trying to restrict our forces ability to combat them. " That's ridiculous and you know it. That is never going to happen and to make a case based on that "possibility" is utterly disingenuous. Fighting ISIS has nothing to do with people's internet history and online security. "Just see what they did in Paris on 13th November 2015. " Just see how having access to everyone's internet data would not have prevented that attack at all. " I have got nothing to hide" So what? It's the right to privacy that matters. "I would certainly be taking a look at you to see what you have to hide to make you want to restrict the police powers!" Because you're a Stalinist little cretin? You're the only idiot here. That or a shill.
DC - 29-Dec-16 @ 11:09 PM
It no longer at 28 days, its at 14 days since the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 came into force.
Aly - 25-Feb-16 @ 5:59 PM
If you oppose the rights of police to monitor phone calls, emails or any internet traffic you must be either an idiot or have some criminal or terrorist activity that you want to hide. IS is never going to stop its campaign of terror unless it is forced to. Just see what they did in Paris on 13th November 2015. I have got nothing to hide and I have no problem with the the police having full powers to see my or anyone else's data if it helps in any way to fight terrorists or crime. I have had a full body scan at an airport and would be happy to have one every time I fly if it helps ensure that my plane does not get blown up. Stop moaning you idiots! If you want to see how civil liberties really can be undermined just wait until IS take control of the UK because of fools like you trying to restrict our forces ability to combat them. If I had control I would certainly be taking a look at you to see what you have to hide to make you want to restrict the police powers!
Fight IS - 14-Nov-15 @ 7:03 PM
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