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Thieves To Be Fitted With GPS Tags Upon Leaving Prison In Pilot Scheme

Jess Hardiman

Published 

Thieves To Be Fitted With GPS Tags Upon Leaving Prison In Pilot Scheme

Burglars, thieves and robbers will be fitted with GPS tags when they are released from jail, as part of a pilot scheme aiming to reduce reoffending.

The tags will track their movements for 24 hours a day, for up to a year, with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) referring to the project as a 'world first'.

According to the MoJ, more than half of those convicted of theft and burglary reoffend within a year, with almost 80 percent of cases resulting in no suspect being identified.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The pilot is hoped to provide police with an 'extra source of intelligence', as police work with HM Prison and Probation Service staff to investigate whether people with tags have been in the vicinity of any recent burglaries, thefts or robberies.

The tags are also intended to act as a deterrent to help catch 'prolific offenders'.

Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: "Being burgled or robbed is devastating and I understand how frustrating it is when the perpetrators can't be caught, both for the public and the police.

"Tagging these prolific offenders so we know where they are 24 hours a day should be powerful persuasion to change their ways and will help police find and charge them if they don't."

Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse. Credit: PA
Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse. Credit: PA

National Police Chief's Council Electronic Monitoring Lead, Deputy Chief Constable Jon Stratford added: "Tagging prolific offenders provides a strong deterrent and means officers will be able to quickly arrest and gather evidence against anyone suspected of being involved in a robbery, burglary or other theft.

"This scheme will play a part in our overall work to prevent crime and keep our communities safe."

The pilot will initially launch on 12 April in six police force areas - Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Humberside and West Midlands - and will be extended to a further 13 areas in September.

DCI Dickon Turner, who leads the Integrated Offender Management team at Avon and Somerset Police, said: "We're pleased to be one of the initial six forces taking part in this scheme and we estimate around 60 offenders will be tagged within the first six months in our force area.

"This innovative partnership approach will provide another tool we can use to help break the cycle of re-offending and reduce the amount of acquisitive crime committed.

"We know burglaries, robberies and vehicle crime causes untold misery to victims. We believe this scheme will intensify our ability to tackle these offences head-on and bring prolific offenders to justice."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, crime

Jess Hardiman
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