Apparently, Britain’s jails are jam-packed. Up to this point, electronic monitoring in the UK has been limited to high risk repeat offenders and highly publicized or international criminals. Britain’s current GPS tracking system enables law enforcement to monitor participating criminals only to the point of making sure they adhere to a nightly curfew; the tracking is extensive, following over 22,000 individuals at one time (around 116,000 total for the year 2010), as of last year costing £117,000,000. Promising to be one of the largest tracking systems worldwide, the UK is gearing up to implement a full scale plan that includes uninterrupted monitoring and better features of criminals’ accountability for public safety and peace of mind.
Although electronic monitoring of some sort has been in place in Britain since 1999, officials tested a plan similar to the current proposal in 2010 and as early as 2007. The first try ended unsuccessfully because of the sheer expense and inability of the GPS tracking devices to monitor at all times, the criminals’ anklets losing GPS signal because of large obstructions like buildings.
New GPS Tracking System Coming Spring 2013
In the hopes that past obstacles will be overcome, Britain’s new tracking equipment is scheduled to be implemented around April 2013. Several new features should aid the success of the endeavor. For instance, the new GPS tracking devices will allow officials to have the ability to monitor at all times with uninterrupted signal. The recipients of the electronic monitoring will primarily be repeat or high risk offenders (those involved in violent or sexual crimes) released prematurely from prison or with probationary requirements. The devices will report by software the criminals’ trajectory, by what mode—walking or automobile—and how fast. Law enforcement teams will be able to program alarms to go off when the GPS tracking devices on sex offenders enter individually predetermined restricted child zones like schools, playgrounds, and daycares—anywhere a pedophile should not be.
Supporters of the new program are hoping to bring peace of mind and safety to the British public by keeping an even tighter, more accurate watch on released criminals.