GPS tagging to be used as bail condition

From 1 October the Courts will be able to utilise a GPS tag system when bailing suspects from court. The scheme supported by the Ministry of Justice will allow courts and the police to minimise the risk of further offending and safeguard victims whilst suspects are on bail. 

The courts can consider both exclusion and inclusion zones and may be combined with timing restrictions or curfews. This allows better monitoring whilst minimising the impact on the lives of individuals awaiting further proceedings.

A similar approach is already operated by Thames Valley Police and supported by the Police & Crime Commissioner on a voluntary basis for some offenders leaving custody.

The Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner has previously called for the courts to have the power to impose tagging as part of a sentence as an aid to reducing reoffending and supporting rehabilitation.

Matthew Barber, Deputy PCC, said: "This is a welcome first step and we will be watching with interest to see how the programme operates. If successful I hope this will lay the foundation for the inclusion of tagging as a regular part of sentencing. As technology improves the criminal justice systems should embrace the new possibilities that be more cost effective, reduce reoffending and keep the public safe.