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Commissioner welcomes government plans to tag 2,000 more criminals

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has welcomed plans by the Government to electronically tag more criminals leaving prison to keep people safe.

Picture credit UK Gov

Under proposals announced by the Justice Secretary, Brandon Lewis MP, this week, a further 2,000 offenders will have their whereabouts monitored on leaving custody - signalling a growing use of technology to drive down reoffending rates.

The move represents an expansion of Government's Acquisitive Crime GPS tagging project which includes a number of police forces across England and Wales.

Under the current initiative, only criminals with sentences of a year or more can be monitored via electronic tags on release from prison. The new changes will mean offenders with sentences of 90 days or more will also be eligible for tagging - cutting the existing sentence threshold by nine months.

The announcement has been welcomed by Mr Matthews, who has prioritised the delivery of High-Tech Policing in his Police and Crime Plan as part of his efforts to strengthen local policing.

He said: "I'm hugely supportive of the expansion of this project which not only serves to improve the detection of crime but also tackles reoffending, serving as an important part of the rehabilitation process for offenders - an issue that is very important to me.

"It is vital we take advantage of new technology to support the work of the police in protecting people and driving down crime - this is why I have included High-Tech Policing as a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.

"Law-abiding citizens expect for criminal justice agencies to use every tool in the book to keep them safe. If criminals can't be persuaded to toe the line with an electronic tag, then they can most certainly expect to be caught and punished through this courts thanks to this scheme."

Electronic tags trials for acquisitive crimes including theft, burglary and robbery were introduced by the Government last year.

They work by tracking the physical movements of offenders so police can determine if any tagged offenders were in the vicinity of a crime.  

They can also be utilised by probation officers to monitor the whereabouts of an offender under their supervision.

The expansion forms part of the Government's unprecedented £183m investment in expanding the use of electronic monitoring technology.


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