BURGLARS, Robbers and Thieves will now be required to wear GPS tags to track their movements after they are released from Prison.
The ‘world first’ pilot scheme is set to be rolled out in six areas, including Cheshire, from next month.
Under the new rules, criminals who have been convicted of burglary, robbery or theft and have served an imprisonment of a year or more will automatically be tagged upon their release.
This will allow their whereabouts to be monitored by satellites 24 hours a day for up to 12 months afterwards.
Forces investigating such crimes will be able to submit the incident to a dedicated unit overseen by the HM Prison and Probation Service, who will be able to check whether tagged offenders were in the vicinity.
Deputy chief constable Jon Stratford, the National Police Chiefs Council’s electronic monitoring lead, said: “Tagging prolific offenders provides a strong deterrent and means officers will be able to quickly arrest and gather evidence against anyone suspected of being involved in a robbery, burglary or other theft.
“This scheme will play a part in our overall work to prevent crime and keep our communities safe.”
Statistics show that more than half of those convicted of burglary or theft and nearly a third of robbers in the UK reoffend within a year of their release from prison.
This is compared to 23 per cent of newly-released former prisoners who have committed other crimes.
The scheme will initially be launched in the Cheshire, West Midlands, Humberside, Gwent, Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset police force areas on April 12, with an estimated 250 offenders set to be tagged in the first six months.
It will then be extended to another 13 forces in September.
Minister for crime and policing Kit Malthouse MP added: “Being burgled or robbed is devastating and I understand how frustrating it is when the perpetrators can’t be caught, both for the public and the police.
“Tagging these prolific offenders so we know where they are 24 hours a day should be powerful persuasion to change their ways and will help police find and charge them if they don’t. It’s another tool helping probation staff to cut crime and keep the public safe.”
Source: Northwich Guardian