Burglars released from prison are to be tracked round the clock, potentially for years, the UK policing minister has said.
Six police forces are to trial electronic tags, with satellite tracking capability, on convicted burglars when they are released from prison so burglaries can be checked against their movements, the Telegraph reported.
An order to wear a tag could cover the entire period of a released offender’s licence, so a burglar released halfway through a four-year jail term could be tagged for two years under the plans, which were revealed in the sentencing white paper published last month.
Kit Malthouse, the crime, policing and justice minister, told the Telegraph: “In simple terms, it can tell all police forces whether a former burglar has been in their area and they can match it up with burglary data.
“Fifty per cent of burglaries are done by former burglars. It should be a major deterrent to them going out and plying their previous trade.”
Although the trial will be limited to six forces, Malthouse told the newspaper he wanted it to be a blanket policy so that “everybody who has a burglary conviction gets GPS tagged”.
Refusal to wear a tag would breach the terms of a licence, meaning an offender would return to prison.
Malthouse told the newspaper he did not believe it would breach human rights as the use of tags for home detention curfews and alcohol intake was established.
Malthouse introduced sobriety ankle tags when he was in charge of policing in London nearly 10 years ago when Boris Johnson was mayor. The technology is also due to be extended nationwide after successful trials.