Criminals on curfew could be tracked by GPS tags from next week

PUBLISHED: 13:09 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:09 14 May 2019

Electronic tags in Norfolk could be fitted with GPS tracking technology from next week. Picture: Jerry Turner

Electronic tags in Norfolk could be fitted with GPS tracking technology from next week. Picture: Jerry Turner

Criminals put on curfew by the courts could be tracked by GPS 24 hours a day as of next week.

An electronic tag. PA photo: Toby Melvill.An electronic tag. PA photo: Toby Melvill.

In February the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced a gradual roll out of GPS technology on electronic tags, allowing offenders to be tracked wherever they go and at all times.

The national programme goes live in Norfolk on May 27.

While it is expected only a small number of offenders will be eligible for GPS tagging, it is estimated ten tags could cost between £27,440 and £49,000 a year to the force the manage breaches.

It is expected the scheme will bring down prison costs as an alternative to short-term prison sentences.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said they are "not expecting significant numbers" to be put onto the scheme when it comes into force next week.

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"It is MoJ led and driven and there has been a lot of national commentary around the use of tagging and the impact of short term prison sentences," he said.

"We are going live on Monday week. The courts make the decision whether to remand into custody or use GPS as an alternative to incarceration.

"I am not expecting any additional costs or significant impact on the organisation."

GPS tagging is considered an option for 'low-risk' cases, and allow police to identify a suspects location if there further crimes are committed.

As of April 1 this year, only 49 tags were being used across the country.

Announcing the scheme, Justice Secretary David Gauke said: "GPS tagging will help to better protect victims and give them the reassurance that perpetrators will not be able to breach an exclusion zone without triggering an immediate alert.

"I am confident that this important new technology will become a vital tool to increase public protection and strengthen options for tougher community sentences."

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