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Scotland consults on increase in offender tagging

06/03/17

Possible new measures include use of GPS and alcohol monitoring technology

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on stepping up the use of electronic tagging to monitor offenders in the country.

Electronic tag on an ankleIt is looking at potential new approaches, such as using technology that monitor alcohol consumption and the use of Global Positioning System tracking in addition to the current radio tagging.

Other possible changes include giving courts the option of tagging as an alternative to a fine, using it as a bail condition, and introducing tags as a condition of release from custody while a police investigation is going on.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “There will always be crimes where a prison sentence is the only reasonable response – but international research backs our experience that prison is not always the most effective way to bring down repeat offending.

“That is why we are considering a major expansion on the way we use electronic monitoring and we want to hear people’s views on what those changes should look like.

“This is about effective changes that stop people reoffending, make best use of emerging technology and tackle our high rate of imprisonment – all with the aim of doing more to keep people safe.”

The plans follow recommendations from a working group on electronic monitoring which included introduction of GPS technology and a demonstration project to look at how alcohol monitoring technology could be used.

It also recognised scope to extend electronic monitoring for a range of uses, including a voluntary scheme for persistent offenders.

Image by Jérémy-Günther-Heinz Jähnick, CC BY-SA 3.0 through Wikimedia

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