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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19365: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 11 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government for what reason it is increasing the use of bail supervision, and what safeguards are in place to protect public safety.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 31 October 2018

The Justice Committee’s Inquiry into the Use of Remand in Scotland , published on 24 June 2018, made a number of recommendations including on approaches to reducing the use of remand and alternatives to remand.

The Scottish Government shares the Committee’s view on the value of bail support and supervision. These programmes are aimed at people who would otherwise be held on remand and allow them to be monitored and supervised in the community. Unlike remand, this allows families to stay together and does not adversely impact on employment opportunities or stable housing, which is proven to reduce reoffending.

We have committed through our Programme for Government to issue revised guidance and provide additional funding for supervised and supported bail to ensure that remand is only used where necessary and appropriate.

This additional funding, which will be demand led, will help build capacity and improve the consistent availability for these services when bail and remand decisions are being considered by the court.

The law is clear in that the presumption is in favour of bail unless the court considers remand is necessary for, amongst other reasons, risks to public safety.

Decisions on whether or not to remand an accused person in custody, or grant bail, are a matter for the court within the overall legal framework agreed by parliament.