Burglars, thieves and robbers released from prison will be made to wear GPS tags to track their movements in a world first scheme to crack down on neighbourhood criminals.
Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, Donna Jones, has endorsed new rules to automatically tag burglars, thieves and robbers on release from jail.
With more than half of those convicted of theft and burglary reoffending within a year and almost 80% of cases resulting in no suspect being identified, this will be a vital extra source of intelligence to help police catch these persistent offenders.
Under new rules, burglars, robbers and thieves that have served a prison sentence of a year or more will be automatically fitted with a tag on release, allowing their whereabouts to be monitored by GPS satellites 24 hours a day for up to 12 months.
Police will be able to work with HM Prison and Probation Service staff to investigate whether those on the tags have been in the vicinity of recent burglaries, thefts and robberies. It could provide the crucial evidence needed to catch the perpetrators.
The intention is the tags will also act as a deterrent, protecting the public from further burglaries and thefts and forcing these career criminals to choose a more honest way of making a living. It is hoped this novel approach will reduce the estimated £4.8 billion burden such crimes place on the taxpayer every year.
Donna said “Often when there is a spate of burglaries in an area, the break-ins can be linked back to the release of a local criminal. The intrusion of people’s homes can leave lasting effects. I am committed to reducing crime which is why I welcome these new measures as a way to reduce burglaries and other crimes in our communities making them safer.”
The scheme will initially launch in six police force areas (Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Humberside and West Midlands) on 12 April and it is estimated 250 offenders will be tagged in the first six months. It will then be extended to a further 13 areas in September