Feeds

Blunkett pilot to track offenders via satellite

Pilot scheme for tagged ne'er-do-wells

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.