March 17, 2021 1.59 pm This story is over 32 months old

Police will tag released criminals with GPS trackers

Northern Lincolnshire part of six forces trial

Burglars and thieves will have to wear GPS ankle tags in a bid to stop them reoffending, with North and North East Lincolnshire among the first areas to trial the scheme.

The pilot law, introduced by the Ministry of Justice, will see offenders automatically tagged once they are released from prison, in order to trace where they are.

It is hoped that police will be able to cross-reference the data supplied by the GPS with reports of new crimes, such as thefts and robberies.

Humberside Police are one of six police forces in England to introduce the tags, which will be placed on the ankle of offenders for up to 12 months after their prison release.

The move comes after a trial of sobriety tags last year, where over 2,000 offenders were given electronic ankle tags that trace alcohol consumption.

Trials found that 97% of the people who used the sobriety tags remained alcohol-free throughout its use, and police hope that the GPS tag will have a similar level of success.

Superintendent Jo Roe of Humberside Police said: “We are extremely pleased to be involved in the pilot in support of the UK government’s scheme, which begins on Monday 12 April, to reduce serious acquisitive and violent crime.

“Keeping our communities safe is our top priority and so we had no hesitation in volunteering to participate in the trial initiative.

“We recognise the recurring behaviour of some offenders who commit neighbourhood crime, including burglary, and this pilot scheme presents significant opportunities to work more closely with partner agencies such as the Probation Service to jointly improve our management of offenders through local Offender Management Programmes.

“A particularly useful benefit we see is the ability to cross-reference the GPS data obtained through the tags with reports of new thefts, robberies and burglaries.

“This information could be vital in placing offenders at a reported offence location, and will assist in the investigation of those crimes.  Specifically it will help us to gather evidence and assist us in identifying and bringing offenders to justice quickly.

“Additionally, the rehabilitation of offenders is important. We hope this scheme will encourage those that have been repeat offenders to make different life choices away from crime, reduce the risk of people reoffending in our communities, and most importantly reduce the number of future victims of crime.”