The government has recently announced that they will introduce GPS tagging for perpetrators of domestic abuse, stalking, and other offences. This follows on from a successful pilot that saw the technology trialed by eight police forces in England, in which over 500 individuals were tagged. The pilot proved to be a success and will now be rolled out. Nationwide implementation is expected by the summer.
The government hopes that tagging perpetrators will enable the police to monitor offenders and give those who have experienced abuse peace of mind. Location monitoring enables the police to better manage the risks that an offender poses. An exclusion zone can be enforced, so an offender or individual on bail can’t go within a certain distance of a particular address without alerting the police to their presence. For example, monitoring can also be used to check attendance at counselling sessions and programmes aimed at educating and reforming perpetrators.
Benefits and Limitations
Location monitoring is a useful technology and, used correctly, it could have a positive impact on the wellbeing of people who have experienced domestic abuse. However, the technology must not replace prison sentences as this may discourage people from coming forward to report abuse. The courts must have a full understanding of the benefits and the limitations of GPS tagging. The tag may enforce a physical separation, but tagged perpetrators may still use other methods to contact and intimidate – for instance, by using social media sites.
If you would like to know more about any of the services that we provide to support people who are experiencing domestic abuse, please get in touch. You can call Leeway on 0300 561 0077 or email email@example.com.
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