Thieves across Humberside to be tagged with GPS trackers

Prolific burglars, robbers and thieves are to be tagged with GPS trackers in a bid to stop them reoffending.

Offenders will be automatically tagged for up to 12 months after being released from prison, under a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) pilot.

Gwent, Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Humberside and West Midlands police forces are all taking part.

The MoJ said tracking offenders 24 hours a day would act as a deterrent.

It estimated 250 offenders, who have served a year in prison, will be fitted with the tag in the first six months of the scheme, as part of their licence conditions.

Police will be able to cross-reference the GPS data with reports of new thefts, robberies and burglaries to see if offenders were in the area at the time.

Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Humberside will become one of six areas to trial a new scheme which will see burglars, thieves and robbers released from prison made to wear GPS tags to track their movements in a world first.

With more than half of those convicted of theft and burglary reoffending within a year and almost 80 per cent of cases resulting in no suspect being identified, this will be a vital extra source of intelligence to help police catch these persistent offenders.

Police will be able to work with HM Prison and Probation Service staff to investigate whether those on the tags have been in the vicinity of recent burglaries, thefts and robberies.

As well as information gathering, the tags could also act as a deterrent, protecting the public from further burglaries and thefts and forcing career criminals to choose a more honest way of making a living.

Crime minister Kit Malthouse said: “Being burgled or robbed is devastating and I understand how frustrating it is when the perpetrators can’t be caught, both for the public and the police.

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