Raab to announce plans to expand tagging of offenders

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Justice Secretary Dominic Raab is expected to announce more funding for electronic tagging (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab is expected to announce more funding for electronic tagging (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Almost double the number of offenders will be tagged in a bid to curb reoffending and protect victims, the Justice Secretary is expected to announce.

Dominic Raab will tell the Conservative Party conference in Manchester that more than 25,000 criminals will be fitted with ankle tags as part of a £183 million plan to expand the use of electronic monitoring to cut crime.

It will include 10,000 prolific thieves, burglars and robbers being fitted with GPS tags as they come out of prison and around 3,500 high-risk domestic abusers also having their whereabouts monitored in this way.

More than 12,000 offenders will be subjected to wearing sobriety tags to watch their alcohol consumption.

From tackling alcohol-fuelled violence and burglary to protecting domestic abuse victims, we are developing tags to make our streets and communities safer

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab

The funding will see the number of people tagged at any one time rise from around 13,500 this year to around 25,000 by 2025, according to an extract of the announcement released by the Tories.

Mr Raab will also set out a £90 million plan to increase community work carried out by criminals to around eight million hours a year which will look to recruit 500 more unpaid supervisors and focus on cleaning up streets and other open spaces.

The announcement comes after policing minister Kit Malthouse told the conference the tags could be used to disrupt criminal gangs and Shaun Bailey, Conservative London Assembly member and former adviser to David Cameron, suggested fitting more children with the tracking devices to tackle gang-related crime.

Mr Raab is expected to say: “This major increase in high-tech GPS tagging will see us leading the world in using technology to fight crime and keep victims safe.

“From tackling alcohol-fuelled violence and burglary to protecting domestic abuse victims, we are developing tags to make our streets and communities safer.”

The GPS tagging project started in April and was expanded to half of England and Wales last week.

The pilot could be rolled out nationwide, if it is found to be successful at cutting crime and helping police catch offenders.

Criminals in England who commit alcohol-fuelled crimes can be required to wear ankle tags that monitor their sweat every 30 minutes.

The so-called sobriety tags alert the probation service if alcohol is detected in their sweat sample.

They have been ordered for more than 1,500 offenders serving community sentences since they were rolled out a year ago.

Offenders will tidy up hundreds of miles of rivers and canals in England and Wales every year under a new agreement with the Canal and River Trust as part of efforts for more community work to be carried out.

Mr Raab is also expected to use his conference speech to reiterate that his “number one priority” is to protect women and girls, as well as to outline his vision for reforming the Human Rights Act.

It is anticipated he will reaffirm his commitment to enshrine support available to victims and guidance under the Victims’ Code into law.

In the wake of the deaths of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, he is expected to promise to “transform” the way the justice system treats violence against women and make the streets safer so that “women can walk home at night, without having to look over their shoulder”.

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