Around ten thousand of those will be prolific robbers, thieves and burglars fitted with GPS tags as they come out of prison. This world-first project – which began in April – expanded to half of England and Wales last week and will now be funded for a further three years. It recently saw the first conviction using location data to pin a thief to the scene of further crimes and is deterring others from reoffending. The intention is to roll it out nationwide, if successful at curbing crime and helping police catch offenders.
In another world-first, alcohol monitoring tags will also be used on more than 12,000 prison leavers known to commit crimes when under the influence over the same period - helping keep them off alcohol altogether or limit their drinking to reduce the risk of them reoffending. It follows their successful use on offenders serving community sentences since last October to help cut the £22 billion cost of alcohol-related crime.
Over 3,500 high-risk domestic abusers will have their whereabouts monitored using GPS tags to protect victims and children from further trauma. The tags may also help the Probation Service discover relationships that offenders are keeping secret so they can alert new partners. The £183 million investment will help almost double the number of people tagged at any one time from around 13,500 this year to approximately 25,000 by 2025.