‘Alcohol tags’ to keep offenders sober

Alchol consumption detecting ankle tags will be used across London Pic: Abel Danger

Alcohol consumption-detecting ankle tags will be used across London Pic: Abel Danger

Electric ankle tags that record the alcohol consumption of the wearer will be given to alcohol-related offenders across London after a successful pilot scheme in Croydon.

London courts have been given the power to issue the so-called sobriety tags to crack down on alcohol-related crime.

Results showed the 18-month pilot study across Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Sutton had a 92 per cent compliance rate.

The scheme introduced by the Ministry of Justice and the Mayor of London received a £400,000 funding boost to extend the tags scheme to the rest of London.

The tags detect alcohol levels in the sweat of alcohol-related crime offenders and are monitored 24 hours a day. Authorities are alerted when an offender has breached an alcohol abstinence order so they can be returned to court and sanctioned.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove said: “I am absolutely committed to reducing reoffending so we can cut crime and better protect the public.”

“By giving courts this new power and making the latest technology available, we are helping offenders understand the detrimental impact drinking alcohol can have on their behaviour. This innovative approach has delivered impressive results so far and we will be building on this with the wider London roll out,”

The police and Criminal Justice System spend around £1.7bn per year on alcohol related crimes and £696m on accident and emergency costs, according to the Institute of Alcohol Studies.

The scheme will roll out across London from April 2016. 

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