Burglars to be tagged with GPS device & monitored 24/7 as UK cracks down on repeat offenders
Thieves, robbers and burglars in the UK will be required to wear GPS ankle tags to track their whereabouts as part of a new program to dissuade former convicts from returning to a life of crime.
Offenders who spent a year or more behind bars will be fitted with a tracking device on their release, and will be monitored around the clock by GPS satellites for up to 12 months, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced on Wednesday.
The scheme will be launched in six police force areas in April, and will include around 250 offenders, who will be tagged over the next six months. The program is expected to be extended to 13 other areas in September.
Reports of burglaries, thefts and robberies will be submitted to a unit supervised by HM Prison and Probation Service, which will check the location history of the tagged ex-convicts against the details of these crimes.
The MOJ said in a statement that the program would be a “vital extra source of intelligence” to help police solve crimes. More than half of those convicted of theft and burglary reoffend within a year, but 80% of such crimes currently result in no suspect being identified.
The GPS tags are designed to act as a “deterrent” that will protect the public and force career criminals to “choose a more honest way of making a living”, the ministry said, adding that the program could potentially save taxpayers £4.8 billion ($6.6 billion) a year by reducing the costs associated with such crimes.
This isn’t the first crime prevention program to utilize tracking devices. According to the BBC, “sobriety tags” that monitor sweat levels are already used in parts of England and Wales to determine whether offenders who committed a crime while under the influence of alcohol have remained sober.