What Does It Mean to Be ‘Released Under Investigation’?

If you have been arrested, you may subsequently find yourself ‘released under investigation’ (RUI).

This is due to recent changes in how the police deal with people that have been arrested. Under the old system, there were three main options available to the police:

  1. Suspect charged or cautioned with an offence, with a court date set.
  2. Suspect released with no further action (case concluded).
  3. Suspect released on bail, to return to the police station on a specified

One of the problems with the old system was that that bail dates could be extended, which resulted in situations where criminal cases could go on for months or even years. This situation led to the loss of confidence in the criminal justice system and resulted in changes to existing law.

New Law

The new law came into force in 2017. Under the new law, the suspects cannot be released on bail for longer than 28 days, except in cases where it is permitted and can be lawfully extended. The change was intended to restore the confidence in the criminal justice system, cut down time spent on bail, which and save police resources.


However, in practice, this has led to uncertainty and further loss of confidence in the criminal justice system. The evidence suggests that in many instances the suspects have been released under investigation without bail. The Suspects also remained unaware of the status of their case for example not knowing when the case will be concluded.

Suspects who are released under investigation are given a notice stating rules on contact with people involved in the case such as witnesses. However, for the suspects under investigation and released without a bail, they are not provided with updates on their cases and therefore making it difficult for them to know when it is safe to contact people involved in the case.

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This article is written by our legal content writer James Chalkley (LLB. LLM.). You can seek further advice from James by booking an appointment with him.

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