Suspects skip bail to avoid justice, say police

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HUNDREDS of suspects who have failed to answer bail while being investigated by a Yorkshire police force have either left the country or are “evading justice”.

West Yorkshire Police says it has 450 suspects whose bail is recorded as being ‘overdue’, a fraction of the 3,734 people on bail as of June this year.

Neighbouring North Yorkshire Police has 64 bail records shown as overdue, with 1,100 people on bail in total. South Yorkshire and Humberside Police did not provide figures.

Assistant chief constable Andrew Battle told The Yorkshire Post: “There are a number of reasons why a person’s bail might be overdue, for example, when an individual may have left the country while on bail and who would be arrested on their return to the UK, or those who are attempting to evade police arrest, having failed to answer police bail.

“The figure will also include a number of cases that have been dealt with but are being processed by administrative teams within the force.”

The Yorkshire Post reported yesterday that dozens of child sex abuse suspects had been kept on bail by West Yorkshire Police for more than six months as part of two major investigations the force is carrying out.

West Yorkshire Police, who last year were revealed to have more people on long-term police bail than nearly any other force, had 716 suspects on bail for more than 180 days in June this year.

The force has revealed that more than ten per cent of these relate to “two major child sexual exploitation investigations”.

Suspects are released on police bail after being arrested while officers carry out an investigation, and are asked to return to a station at a set date.