Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

GPS plan for prolific offenders

The Government is planning to use new GPS electronic tags on offenders which would monitor their movements far more closely

Prolific thieves and burglars could be subject to GPS satellite tracking under plans to be unveiled by the Government.

Under the proposals, new GPS electronic tags would be used to monitor the movements of offenders far more closely than at present.

Ministers believe the scheme could be used to ensure multiple offenders are excluded from town centres or other hotspots where they are thought likely to commit further crimes.

Details will be set out by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright at a conference on the rehabilitation of offenders on Monday.

Current tags only monitor whether an offender is present at their curfew address during their curfew period.

Government sources said the new "location monitoring" would most probably be used for offenders who present a high risk of reoffending, or who pose a risk of harm to the public.

However ministers are also considering trialling GPS tagging with other short-sentence offenders serving less than 12 months.

Ultimately, it will be for courts to determine whether to impose tracking in individual cases.

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