By Tony Winterburn • 17 March 2021 • 7:04
Prolific Burglars To Be Automatically GPS Tagged After Being Released From Prison. image: Wikimedia
Prolific Burglars To Be Automatically GPS Tagged After Being Released From Prison.
BURGLARS, thieves and robbers that have served a prison sentence of a year or more will be made to wear GPS tags to track their movements in a world-first scheme to crack down on reoffenders.
GPS satellites will be used to monitor offenders 24 hours a day for up to 12 months, Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse MP told reporters. Malthouse said 51 per cent of those convicted of theft reoffend within a year, so putting a tag “allows us to show them that effectively a probation officer is with them 24 hours a day monitoring what they do.”
The scheme hopes to reduce persistent offending. “We are able to use the location data to put them at the scene, to allow the cops to catch up to them much more quickly,” Malthouse said. Almost 80 per cent of cases result in no suspect being identified, so this step is hoped to be an extra source of intelligence to help catch persistent offenders.
Police will be able to work with HM Prison and Probation Service staff to investigate whether those on the tags have been in the vicinity of recent burglaries, thefts and robberies. When asked about whether this tagging could be widened to deter violence against women, Malthouse said in certain circumstances tagging already is used, but added:
“There is enormous potential for much wider use. We are starting with these particular crimes because we know the reoffending rate is so high.”
He said: “My personal view is that there is enormous potential for tagging… I do think we will definitely explore how else we can use tagging technology. We want to see the impact it has, and then we’ll see where else we go on the tagging strategy,” he concluded.
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