Feeds

Plugs pulled on satellite paedo tracking after pilot flops

Blunkett's 'prison without bars' plan finally fizzles

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Ministry of Justice has finally, officially, pulled the plugs on David Blunkett's 'prisons without bars' - plans to use satellite tracking to monitor sex offenders have been suspended pending improvements in the technology. Instead, the MoJ plans to use lie detector tests to deal with paedophiles.

In reality, however, the satellite system has been dead for some years. Blunkett's cunning plan to use technology the keep the prison population under control was manifestly unfeasible from the start, and predictably the two year pilot study he kicked off in 2004 revealed (quelle surprise...) that satellite tracking had problems with tall buildings, building interiors, tunnels and the less co-operative offender. Some offenders simply removed the equipment, and one in four of sex offenders freed early to take part in the pilot offended again within a few months.

A study of the scheme was finally published last year, a few months after the split of the Home Office landed the Ministry of Justice with the hot potato and the bulging prison system it hadn't sorted out. In addition to the communications and subversion problems, the report questioned whether tracking could be delivered "at a price which warrants it being rolled out nationally", and pointed to the need for "a much more automated system, capable of providing offender managers and police officers with location information on offenders when they need it but without requiring too much manual intervention by monitoring company staff."

Given the current state of UK police and offender management computer systems, that's clearly a show-stopper.

Rolling out compulsory lie detector tests for sex offenders instead promises to be considerably less complicated. A small voluntary pilot scheme has been deemed a success, and the MoJ now has powers to make tests compulsory. This pilot did however reveal that around 60 per cent of those tested were telling lies, and resulted in probation officers increasing their risk assessment for 81 per cent of the subjects. Which doesn't sound altogether good news if you're trying to keep the prison population down. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.