Aug 23 2013
Criminals should be tagged with more accurate GPS devices so they can be constantly tracked, according to a police and crime commissioner.
Nottinghamshire PCC Paddy Tipping has called on the Government to change the law to allow courts to order offenders to wear the new-style GPS tags.
At present the courts can only order a person to wear a standard tag, which monitors whether a person is at their home address and alerts the authorities when they leave.
New-style tags with global positioning satellite (GPS) technology allow police to track the movements of tagged offenders outside the home, at any time.
The call comes as Mr Tipping was fitted with one of the new tags, which he will wear for a week, to highlight the efficiency of the devices.
Nottinghamshire Police has started to use the tags as part of a voluntary scheme after a successful three-month trial last year. It estimated around 25 arrests were avoided during the trial due to intelligence from the GPS tags.
GPS tagging means officers can overlay offender movements with crime patterns which can support real-time location and arrests. Conversely it can reduce the need for unnecessary and costly arrests if the location intelligence does not put an offender in the place of a crime which they may be suspected of.
Nottinghamshire Police said it saw a number of benefits during the trial including increased quality of intelligence, a decrease in unnecessary investigations and arrests and a reduction in crime. It also saw a psychological effect on offenders in deterring them from reoffending.
Mr Tipping said: "These new GPS tags are a powerful tool in our work to reduce the number of victims of crime and to encourage people who have previously been convicted, not to reoffend. I was keen to find out for myself what it's like to be fitted with a tag and what it means to wear one day and night.
"I have supported the introduction of the GPS tags and I hope that I will be able to provide reassurance to all parties that they are very effective at their job. There are benefits for the wearer as this tag can 'eliminate them from inquiries' simply by proving where they were, or weren't, saving time and stress, while its very effectiveness provides an excellent reason to stay away from crime."