Feeds

Blunkett pilot to track offenders via satellite

Pilot scheme for tagged ne'er-do-wells

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

David Blunkett is set to launch a year-long pilot study of his plan to track offenders by satellite. The system will allow police to monitor the movements of the tagged person 24 hours a day, and will give their location to within just a few metres

The scheme is designed for those who have served part of a custodial sentence and have been released, and those who have been given a curfew, for example. The idea is that the tracking devices would be fitted to people that police and probation officers feel are likely to contact their victims, or break the terms of their release from jail: sex-offenders, wife beaters and persistent offenders, for example.

The trial will involve up to 120 convicted criminals from three regions of the country. Each will be fitted with a tracking device about the size of a video cassette on a belt around the waist, and a second device on the ankle. The video sized box sends a signal to the satellite which then informs police of the wearers location. the ankle device monitors the transmitter to make sure it is not tampered with.

Monitoring criminals using this system will cost between £3 and £7 per day, depending on how closely the target's movements are being tracked. Constant monitoring is possible, but so is a recording of a person's movements, reviewed at the end of a 24 hour period.

As we reported earlier this year, there are plenty of potential problems with a scheme like this. It is not trivial to differentiate between deliberate absconders and those who unwittingly move out of areas covered by the GPS system. And to a degree, the success of tracking someone relies on them co-operating with the scheme and not trying to fool it in some way.

To avoid being tracked, all a tagged person need do is remove the tracking devices - presumably something that could be accomplished quite quickly with a sharp enough instrument. Police might well be alerted to the tampering, but they still won't know where to find the offender, because they won't be being tracked anymore.

More importantly, tagging a criminal does not prevent them from committing crimes, nor does it help in bringing them to account for those crimes.

In December last year, a 39-year-old teacher was stabbed while jogging in a London park. Her attacker was wearing an electronic tag at the time, and was eventually arrested and convicted - not because of the tag, but because a friend turned him in. ®

Related stories

UK gov to moot electronic tagging of dustbins
Outbreak of RFID tagging at medical facilities
Tag, track, watch, analyse- UK goes mad on crime and terror IT
A tag too far - Blunkett's satellite tracking plans

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.