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Repeat offenders to be tagged on release to crack down on crime

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Robbers, thieves, and burglars released from jail will have to wear a GPS tracker so their movements can be checked.

The scheme is to crack down on neighbourhood criminals who reoffend within a year of leaving prison.


The government maintains the tags will give police a better chance of catching persistent offenders.

Kit Malthouse, Minister for Crime and Policing said:

“These people, while they are on licence for up to 12 months, will be monitored 24 hours a day.

“We’ll know exactly where they are at all times.

“By monitoring their movements, we can both drive down that impulse to reoffend.

“And, if they do reoffend, allow the police to catch up with them much more quickly, because they’ll know exactly if they were at the scene of the crime at the time.”

Under the proposed rules recidivists who have served a year or more behind bars will be fitted with a tag.

The tag will be watched by satellites 24 hours a day, for up to a year.

Deputy Chief Constable Jon Stratford, the National Police Chief’s Council Electronic Monitoring Lead, said:

“It provides a strong deterrent and means officers will be able to arrest quickly and gather evidence against anyone suspected of being involved in a robbery, burglary or other theft.”

Police and HM Prison and Probation Service staff can check if people with tags have been in the vicinity of a crime.

The scheme launches next month in six police forces (Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Humberside and West Midlands).

It is estimated 250 offenders will be tagged in the first six months.

It will then be extended to a further 13 areas in September.

However, criminal defence solicitor Nick Freeman says it could be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“The technology isn’t fool proof; burglars are very adept at working their way around it.

“Also, the tag is visible. It may be a badge of honour, or it may be a stigma.

“People may be ashamed of walking around the streets with a tag on because it’s actually highlighting that someone is a criminal.”



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