MoJ to spend £400k on London alcohol tags

Topics: Criminal justice,Courts business

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The Ministry of Justice is to spend £400,000 on ankle bracelets to combat alcohol-related crime, it has announced.

A pilot project of technology to ensure offenders comply with alcohol abstinence orders will be extended across London from April following an 18-month pilot in four of the capital’s boroughs.


Justice secretary Michael Gove said: ‘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.’

Nine in 10 offenders complied with alcohol abstinence requirements in the pilot, the ministry reported.

The tags provide round-the-clock monitoring of alcohol in an offender’s perspiration. If they drink again, breaching their alcohol abstinence order, they can be sent back to court for further sanctions.

The London Mayor’s Office for policing and crime, which is contributing £450,000 towards the scheme’s extension, will also run it.

London mayor Boris Johnson (pictured) said the ‘innovative technology’ was ‘driving down reoffending and proving rehabilitation does not have to mean prison’.

Following the pilot’s ‘success’, Johnson said ‘it’s time to roll out these tags to the rest of the capital and rid our streets of these crimes, by helping even more offenders stay off the booze and get back on the right track’.

In 2013, London’s pioneering Family Drug and Alcohol Court piloted ankle bracelets to monitor parents with alcohol problems.

A SCRAMx device was fitted to parents involved in care proceedings where alcohol was an issue, to monitor sobriety by detecting alcohol secretions on the skin every 30 minutes.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Much though I don't like Boris Johnson, or the photo, this must be a sensible move surely?

    A bit of a clean up time ?

    Although it would have been more sensible not to do away wit the control on Licensing that Magistrates Courts had in the first place and the position could easily be put back in place with proper funding for the Courts out of that £400k. .

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  • I have just read that the MoJ has just abandoned an electronic tagging system that was "unfit for (the) purpose". That, too had cost about £400,000 of which all but the tip had been spent.
    No mention of suing the provider for its systemic shortcomings. This is, presumably, "Son of Not fit for purpose system" and another £400,000's worth of money down the drain.

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