News In Focus
Satellite tracking of offenders coming to Scotland
21 September 2012
Satellite tracking of offenders is to be introduced to Scotland following the signing of a new contract today, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has announced.
Instead of relying on radio frequency technology to detect when an offender has broken the terms of their release, global positioning systems will continuously track offenders’ whereabouts in order to monitor compliance with restrictions imposed. Any breach will trigger an alarm, enabling police to respond swiftly.
The technology can also be used to establish "exclusion zones", which will mean an alarm will be triggered whenever an offender comes into the vicinity of an area they are prohibited from entering – for example someone excluded from a home following an allegation of domestic violence, or a sex offender bound to keep away from schools.
A similar system has been in use in England & Wales for the past 10 years.
The £13m contract will run from April 2013. The contract holder, G4S, is a separate business arm from that involved in the Olympic security fiasco when troops had to be drafted in at the last minute to cover for a lack of personnel.
Mr MacAskill said: “We will of course monitor the rollout of this technology closely. If successful, it provides the opportunity to be utilised in other ways too, such as the monitoring of higher risk offenders, or providing the capability of setting up exclusion zones on where offenders can go and what they can do. We’ll be keeping a close eye on its development going forward and will actively consider further rollout to other uses if the evaluation proves positive.”