In the Cambridgeshire force region, the length of time it takes to come to a decision, went up from an average of 57 to 155 days and in Suffolk it rose from 54 days to 137.Commenting on the findings, Jenny Wiltshire, Head of General Crime at Hickman & Rose solicitors, said: “The changes to the police bail regulations were meant to end the injustice of people being kept in legal limbo for months on end as they waited for police to decide what to do. This shows the problem hasn’t gone away. In fact it’s got worse.”Whereas criminal suspects were previously kept waiting for far too long on bail; now they are kept waiting for even longer while ‘under investigation’.“In one way this new ‘under investigation’ status is even worse than bail as police are not obliged provide updates on how the case is progressing nor when it may end.“People, who may be innocent of any crime, are forced to put their whole lives on hold – and live under a cloud of suspicion – as they wait for the police to make up their minds without any idea of when this might happen.“That this problem would occur under the new bail regime was obvious when these changes were first mooted.”If the government want to achieve speedier resolution of crimes they need to do more than impose unrealistic deadlines on already pressed police forces. They need to provide funding that would enable the police to do their job properly.”The changes to the bail regime were introduced following a number of notorious high profile cases.Broadcaster, Paul Gambaccini, spent more than a year on police bail after being arrested in connection with historic sex allegations. Suspects are usually released under investigation According to the figures, the average length of time someone was held on police bail before being charged or released used to be 90 days.But that has now increased to 139 days – almost five months – for those who are released under investigation.In the worst performing areas, suspects are now spending as much as three times as long waiting for their cases to be decided.Legal experts argue that waiting for a decision carries the same level of stress whether a person is on bail or has been released under investigation.But they warn that suspects are even more in the dark under the new process because the police are not obliged to give them regular updates.In 2016 suspects in Surrey spent an average of 74 days on pre-charge bail awaiting a decision on their case.But when the new system of releasing suspects under investigation was brought in, that increased to an average of 228 days. A landmark legal move introduced to prevent suspects spending months languishing on police bail, has backfired with people now spending even longer in limbo, official data has revealed.Two years ago the Government changed the rules meaning police forces could only keep a suspect on pre-charge bail for a maximum of 28 days, unless there were exceptional circumstances.It followed controversy over a number of high profile cases in which people were forced to live under a cloud of suspicion for long periods – sometimes years – before eventually being exonerated.Instead of being bailed, suspects are now usually ‘released under investigation’, a status that is intended to carry less stigma and ought to help speed up the legal process.More than 80 per cent of criminal suspects are now released under investigation rather than on police bail.But data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, has revealed that in many police forces, suspects are spending even longer in limbo waiting for their case to be resolved. Paul Gambaccini spent a year on bail before being completely exonerated Unable to work throughout that period, he was never charged with any offence, and later won a payout from the Crown Prosecution Service over his treatment.A number of journalists arrested during the Met’s Operation Elveden investigation also spent lengthy periods on bail.Former Sun reporter Jamie Pyatt was on bail for three years and nine months after being arrested on suspicion of bribing a police officer.He was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing after being found not guilty of all charges at trial.Concerns about the new ‘under investigation’ status are not limited to its length.There are fears criminal suspects may also be taking advantage of the fact that, unlike bail, no conditions can be attached to being released under investigation.Recent figures suggested that one in every seven suspects released under investigation is re-arrested for allegedly committing another offence.Domestic abuse campaigners have also expressed serious concern over the fact suspects are being released under investigation without conditions preventing them from approaching their alleged victims. Police can only bail someone for 28 days under the new rulesCredit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.