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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

September 2, 2004: Satellite Tracking for Offenders Arrives

Home Secretary David Blunkett announced today that satellite tracking will be used to monitor offenders in three pilot areas in England: Greater Manchester, Hampshire and the West Midlands. All three areas will test the technology with prolific offenders and domestic violence offenders. Greater Manchester will also test the technology with sexual offenders, and Hampshire with young prolific offenders. This is the first time this technology has been used in offender management in Europe.

The technology utilises a satellite Global Positioning System to monitor offenders. The offender’s movements can be tracked in real time - appearing as a location on an ordinance survey map to within two metres. Offenders will be tracked following release from custody or as part of their compliance with a new community penalty (the ‘exclusion order’) which the Courts can impose to prevent an offender going to specific locations.

The pilots will run for 12 months, after which the government will decide whether to extend satellite tracking to the whole of England and Wales. The pilots will be evaluated by Home Office appointed researchers.

According to the Home Office, the new technology will help deter offenders from breaking the law, while providing extra intelligence to public protection agencies about the movements of ex-offenders to ensure they can intervene swiftly if necessary. The cost of tracking offenders will depend on how intensive the tracking is and on how many offenders are made subject to tracking.

The government has budgeted £3 million to cover start up costs, evaluation and project management. The estimated average cost per day for each offender tracked is £68. The pilots are taking place under the current electronic monitoring contracts. The current suppliers are Securicor, Reliance and Premier.

Probation Service Director General Steve Murphy stated that the National Probation Service is already effectively managing offenders subject to electronic tagging:

"Introducing satellite tracking represents the next step in monitoring offender movements whilst they serve the community element of any sentence. This testing of satellite tracking will enable probation staff and police forces to work even more closely in protecting the public."

According to the Home Secretary:

"This technology will allow us to be equally tough with offenders released from prison using the latest technology to ensure they are sticking to the conditions of their licence and staying away from crime… This technology will allow us to develop and promote the tough community sentences which are vital if we are to prevent re-offending and give non-violent offenders a chance to serve an effective sentence in the community. The public have to be confident that this ‘prison without bars’ works and that it gives the police and probation services the tools they need to protect them. This will build on the success of electronic tagging in monitoring offenders.