“Speed up the introduction of compulsory tagging of known offenders to reduce crime and the number of victims”.
That is the message coming from Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins who is calling on the Ministry of Justice to act now.
He said: “We have the technology and we know it works, but we are still not allowed to use it to its full potential. It’s like driving a Ferrari with the handbrake on.”
The Commissioner was referring to the MOJ’s confirmation this week that whilst GPS or locational tags will be available in the future, helping to pinpoint known offenders at any given time, the MOJ still needs to update the legislation governing who is responsible for monitoring offenders.
Until this happens the possibilities of GPS technology, beyond traditional curfew tagging, will not be realised.
Mr Martins added: “To be truly effective these new generation GPS tags should be fitted when offender management teams and the courts think they will most help tackle reoffending and thereby reduce the number of victims.
“At the moment they can only be fitted for purposes beyond enforcing a curfew if the offender agrees.
“I am aware that the law needs changing if we are to see compulsory GPS tagging, but the MOJ took over 18 months to make a decision on who will supply these tags in the future.”
Trials in Bedfordshire showed that GPS tags delivered a reduction in crime, a decrease in unnecessary and better intelligence.