Scheme could track domestic abusers via GPS

Family|July 2nd 2015

Northumbria Police have launched a pilot scheme which will allow people convicted of domestic violence to be tracked by GPS.

An ankle bracelet and handset will be carried by participating offenders whenever they leave the house. If they subsequently enter a defined ‘exclusion zone’ – for example, the area surrounding their victim’s home or place of work – a signal will be sent to a monitoring centre and from there the victim will be alerted. In some circumstances the police will also be notified, to help avoid encounters with the potential for serious consequences.

The scheme would help perpetrators of domestic violence to avoid breaching injunctions and similar restrictions and would also benefit those who find it difficult to control their behaviour when they encounter former spouses or partners.

The scheme is currently voluntary and will be operated by agreement, but if successful it could be introduced by other forces across the country and made a routine part of bail conditions for people accused of violence towards their partners.

Detective Inspector Phil Bond works in Northumbria Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Department. He said: “This equipment will be used on a voluntary basis following an agreement from both parties but will undoubtedly provide added safety for a victim who will receive early warnings of a possible meeting with their perpetrator.”

Local Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, meanwhile, believes the technology even has the potential to save lives.

“Any new technology that can reduce these incidents is of course a welcome addition to traditional policing methods already used by our officers to protect and safeguard victims.”

Image of Northumbria Police car by Ray Forster via Flickr

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Comments(5)

  1. Andrew says:

    When you say ” such as when domestic violence perpetrators are released on bail” do you perhaps mean “when defendants accused of domestic violence are released on bail”?

    Or do you just presume guilt?

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Good spot Andrew. We’ve clarified that passage now

    • stitchedup says:

      The later Andrew. Any honest solicitor or pc will tell you that men accused of domestic abuse are treated as guilty until proven innocent by the police, civil and criminal courts.

  2. stitchedup says:

    If the tag only alerts the “victim” when the subject of the order enters an exclusion zone then the subject has already breached
    I fail to see what protection this offers the subject of the order as he has already committed the breach, and it would appear from the article the tag gives him no warning. If I had been offered one of these I would have told the police to stick it where the sun don’t shine, I’m not a lunatic and refuse to be treated like one.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Britain has a long history of treating its poor as animals instead of trying to understand why the poor behave like animals. Only a police state ruled by animals behaves like this. Really, this is not too far from being forced to wear some colored star. Only, now we have all these new technologies of surveillance and incarceration, so as to guarantee that those who need help remain cut off and without help.

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