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17th Mar 2021

Criminals to be fitted with GPS tags for a year after leaving prison

Claudia McInerney

The pilot scheme will launch on 12 April

Thieves, burglars and robbers are to be fitted with GPS tags once they leave prison in an attempt to reduce instances of reoffending.

As part of the Ministry of Justice pilot scheme, the offenders will be tagged for up to a year after being released from prison.

The tags, which will track the offenders’ movements 24 hours a days, would act as a ‘deterrent’, according to the MoJ.

More than 50 percent of those convicted of burglary and theft reoffend within the year, the MOJ said, with nearly 80% of cases resulting in no suspect being identified.

On Twitter, The MoJ said: “More than half of those convicted of burglary and theft go on to re-offend within a year of release.

“For the first time, these offenders will be fitted with GPS tags on release from prison, aiming to protect the public from further burglaries and thefts.”

The pilot scheme is intended to help provide police with an “extra source of intelligence” in catching persistent 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.”

National Police Chief’s Council Electronic Monitoring Lead, Deputy Chief Constable Jon Stratford said: “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,” he added.

The pilot scheme is set to launch on 12 April, where it will initially be tested in six police force areas, including Cheshire, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Humberside and the West Midlands. In September, the scheme will be tested on a further 13 police force areas.