Scottish Government launches consultation on increased use of electronic tagging

Written by Jenni Davidson on 2 March 2017 in News

Tagging could be used along with a community payback order and for monitoring alcohol consumption

Handcuffs - Image credit: PA Images

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on increasing the use of electronic tagging, with a view to introducing new legislation on its use.

The expansion of tagging to is proposed to include new uses such as monitoring alcohol consumption and voluntary schemes for persistent offenders.

Other potential changes include using GPS tracking technology in addition to current radio tagging, giving courts the option of tagging as an alternative to a fine, using tagging as a bail condition instead of custody on remand and introducing electronic tags as a condition of release from custody while a police investigation is ongoing.


Criminals to be satellite tracked and electronically tested for alcohol by new tags

Number of Scots electronically tagged for domestic abuse crimes on the rise

Prison is not the right answer to every question of penal reform

It could also see tagging used as a condition of a community payback order, giving the additional security of restricting the person’s movement while they are carrying out unpaid work in the community.

The Scottish Government announced its plans to increase the use of electronic tagging in October last year.

This followed the recommendations of a working group of criminal justice experts, which included representatives from the Scottish Prison Service, Social Work Scotland, the Violence Reduction Unit, Scottish Women’s Aid and Police Scotland.

Launching the consultation, 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.”

Dr Hannah Graham, a criminologist and electronic monitoring researcher at Stirling University who has carried out the studies used by the Scottish Government, also spoke in support of the proposals.

She said: “International evidence shows electronic monitoring can be used effectively and ethically, without routinely resorting to custody.

“This doesn’t mean indiscriminate tagging and surveillance en masse, nor does it mean ignoring victims and families.

“It means tailoring tagging to be fit-for-purpose, with due regard for all affected.

“This consultation proposes some practical ways of better integrating electronic tagging with supports for rehabilitation to help people leave crime behind.”

The consultation on electronic tagging runs until 19 May.



Related Articles

Exclusive: Home Office arrested and deported dozens of Europeans for sleeping rough in Scotland last year
19 July 2018

Home Office arrested and removed 26 European nationals from Scotland for sleeping rough on the streets in a move now deemed unlawful

Theresa May: EU is putting citizens at risk over lack of joint working on security after Brexit
29 June 2018

Britain is currently able to share information on criminals and terror threats in real time with EU counterparts

No one wants to further burden a victim of sexual assault but we cannot allow assailants to walk free
6 May 2018

Rape convictions are ridiculously low but to believe the answer is to legally compel victims to give evidence appears, at first take, sheer madness


Scottish Government announces new support service for families of homicide victims
20 April 2018

Victim Support Scotland will receive £13.8m for a homicide service and to develop a victim-centred approach to criminal justice

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page