Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping was first in line to be tagged today (Friday 23 August) at the start of a new scheme in Nottinghamshire aimed at discouraging offenders from committing further crimes.
The Commissioner will now wear the locational GPS tag – which will pinpoint wherever he is for the next seven days – to highlight Nottinghamshire Police’s official launch of this latest crime-fighting technology.
“It means that officers will be able to monitor offenders who have been released into the community, and know their whereabouts at all times,” said Mr Tipping. “Trials already conducted by the force have shown that tagging leads to fewer crimes, fewer victims and less cost to the taxpayer.
“I believe that to be an exciting and positive development in keeping our citizens safe.”
He explained: “Results of a three-month trial strongly suggest that use of the tags will be a win-win move, keeping offenders on the straight and narrow when they first rejoin the community and helping them to establish law-abiding patterns that will encourage them to steer clear of crime in the longer term.”
Twenty tags were ordered for use by the force at a cost of £45,200 following positive feedback by officers involved in the successful pilot. The tags are being provided by G4S and the process of being fitted with one is currently voluntary.
Mr Tipping’s support for the scheme was welcomed today by fellow Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins of Bedfordshire. A long term exponent of the value of GPS tagging, Mr Martins continues to press the Ministry of Justice to speed up its compulsory use. “I am delighted that Paddy is highlighting the advantages of this type of tag in successfully cutting crime,” he said. “Technology is critical in helping us to reduce the number of victims in our communities.”
Commissioner Tipping was keen to experience for himself what it is like wearing a tag day and night, with a view to being able to reassure all parties of their effectiveness.
“There are benefits for the wearer as this tag can ‘eliminate them from enquiries’ 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,” he pointed out.
He added that the tag is capable of delivering an alert if the wearer breaches an inclusion or exclusion order, and that the technology has moved on considerably from the original ‘proximity’version of the tag. The original had merely informed the monitors if the wearer was, or wasn’t at home at the times they were meant to be.
Nottinghamshire Police say that 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 doesn’t put an offender in the place of a crime which they may be suspected of.
They say that the trial showed the tags to be a positive deterrent, helping to steer an offender away from crime and towards Multi Agency rehabilitation schemes.
Det Sgt Lee Watson, who is leading the project, said: “This is an excellent example of our commitment to protecting communities, preventing and reducing crime and using our resources creatively and efficiently to do so.
“We are excited to be finally using the technology in this manner in order to further reduce crime by adding a new dimension to our abilities to provide policing to Nottinghamshire communities.”
Sheila Wright, Deputy Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Probation Trust, said: “Together with our partners we welcome GPS tagging as another effective tool in the fight against crime. We fully support the use of new technology and innovation such as this to help manage offenders, reduce reoffending rates and make Nottinghamshire a safer place."
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Posted on Friday 23rd August 2013