Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster today welcomed the force’s role in a new national pilot that sees burglars, robbers and thieves fitted with GPS trackers to cut reoffending.
As part of a drive to tackle neighbourhood crime, criminals will be monitored 24 hours a day – for up to 12 months – on release from prison in an ambitious pilot launched by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
Derbyshire is one of 13 forces nationally to go live with the scheme today (Wednesday).
It was previously tested out in Avon & Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Humberside and the West Midlands earlier this year.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster welcomed the move, saying it would help police clampdown on prolific criminals and increase public confidence and safety.
It also supports her strategic priorities to clampdown on neighbourhood crimes including burglary, to deliver stronger local policing and to offer greater protection to victims of crime.
“People consistently tell me they are worried about burglary and theft. They want to know we are taking every action possible to prevent crime in their communities and this is one of many ways we will do that,” she said.
“I want the people of Derbyshire to go about their daily business without the fear of becoming a victim of crime. This is why I am determined to take a proactive approach to reoffending and shut down opportunities for criminals to strike and I am pleased that Derbyshire Constabulary has confirmed their commitment to tackle burglaries and theft and will implement the tagging system.
“We know burglars, robbers and thieves are the most likely to reoffend and yet far too many slip under the radar, leaving officers and victims deeply frustrated. These new rules will not only help to deter their activities but will also help police identify suspects quickly and easily. The message to criminals is simple; change your ways or you will find yourselves back behind bars.”
Sally Turner, Integrated Offender Management Co-ordinator for Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “We know how invasive and upsetting crimes like burglary can be for victims, so I am delighted that we will have new information available to help us catch those responsible. No one should be able to profit by targeting others, and this move will make life a lot harder for those who seek to do so. Derbyshire Constabulary is committed to tackling burglary and other inquisitive crimes – this is another tool to help us do that.”
The MoJ, which has described the scheme as a ‘world first’, said more than half of those convicted of theft and burglary reoffend within a year while almost 80% of cases result in no suspect being identified.
Offenders will be managed through the existing Integrated Offender Management (IOM) framework to enhance collaboration between Police and Probation.
Police officers will be able to submit any burglaries, thefts or robberies they are investigating to a dedicated unit overseen by HM Prison and Probation Service.
Trained staff will then be able to cross reference the location history of those on tags against the details of the crime to help police rule out or investigate suspects further.
Under the new rules, burglars, robbers and thieves who have serviced a prison sentence of a year or more will be automatically fitted with a tag on release to monitor their whereabouts 24-hours a day for up to 12 months.
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