Lawyers are again able to seek electronically monitored (EM)
bail for clients, just days after police stopped accepting
applications because national capacity had been exceeded.
Members of the Otago branch of the New Zealand Law Society
were yesterday told by police prosecution staff that new
applications would be processed according to standard
On Monday, they were advised no new applications would be
Police prosecutions service national manager Superintendent
Craig Tweedie said the number of people on EM bail nationwide
had recently decreased as bail terms expired.
He said police wrote to the Chief District Court Judge on
December 20 seeking a cap on EM bail numbers, as a short-term
initiative because police expected the number of people on EM
bail to spike over the Christmas period and beyond. Supt
Tweedie said yesterday the number of defendants on EM bail
had decreased from the system's peak of 280.
''The current EM bail muster is standing at 253 - close to
the 250 cap police were originally seeking,'' he said.
Eight people were on EM bail in Otago at present.
Supt Tweedie said police would continue to monitor and assess
EM bail numbers to ensure the scheme's smooth operation.
''There has been no change to police resourcing to manage EM
bail,'' he said.
The system was under review and a joint working group was
considering options for the long-term management of EM bail,
including whether the Department of Corrections should manage
it instead of the police.