Feeds

Blunkett pilot to track offenders via satellite

Pilot scheme for tagged ne'er-do-wells

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.