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Electronic Tagging

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 4 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many persons currently ordered by the courts to be tagged (a) as part of their bail conditions, (b) as part of an early release scheme and (c) as part of their sentence, have not yet had the tagging technology activated; and if he will make a statement; (147516)

(2) what the longest period was between a court ordering a person in the community to be tagged and that tag not having been activated as at 21 June 2007;

(3) for what reasons some persons ordered to be tagged by the courts as part of (a) their bail conditions, (b) early release schemes and (c) their sentence have not yet had the tagging technology activated; and if he make a statement.

Data relating to installation of electronic monitoring equipment are not routinely collected by the monitoring contractors in the format requested, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. From 1 January 2007 to 31 May 2007, the latest period for which figures are available, the contractors installed the monitoring equipment in 99.37 per cent. of audited cases within 24 hours of notification by a Court or Prison.

It is the intention of the Department that all persons are tagged at the earliest opportunity. Installation of equipment may not happen for a number of different reasons. The subject may be delayed in travelling to the curfew address from court or custody, or be curfewed to an address with multiple accommodation such as flats or apartments where the contractor may have initial difficulty in accessing the building.

Prompt follow-up action is required by the contractor under such circumstances. If the person is absent at the first attempt the contractor will report the failure to the relevant supervising agency or the Court if the person is not under supervision. One further attempt must be made to complete installation within 24 hours of the start of the first monitoring period. If the second installation attempt is unsuccessful the contractor must report the failure as a breach of the curfew.