Sheffield criminals could be tagged for a year after prison in crackdown on neighbourhood crime

Burglars, thieves and robbers from Sheffield released from prison could be forced to wear electronic tags to track their movements for a year in a crackdown on neighbourhood crime.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 10:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 10:52 am
Police tape is pictured (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

According to the Ministry of Justice, more than half of those convicted of theft and burglary re-offend within a year and almost 80 per cent of cases result in no suspect every being being identified.

Under new rules, burglars, robbers and thieves that have served a prison sentence of a year or more will be automatically fitted with a tag upon their release, allowing their whereabouts to be monitored by GPS satellites 24 hours a day for up to a year.

The move will allow police forces to work with HM Prison and Probation Service staff to investigate whether those on the tags have been in the vicinity of recent burglaries, thefts and robberies.

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Police officers will be able to submit any burglaries, thefts or robberies they are investigating to a dedicated unit overseen by HM Prison and Probation Service. Trained staff will then be able to check the location history of those on tags against the details of the crime, allowing police to either rule out or investigate suspects further.

It is also hoped that the tags will act as a deterrent, protecting the public from further burglaries and thefts and forcing career criminals to choose a more honest way of making a living.

The scheme will initially launch in six police force areas – Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Humberside and West Midlands - on April 12 and it is estimated 250 offenders will be tagged in the first six months.

It will then be extended to a further 13 areas in September.

Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse said: "Being burgled or robbed is devastating and I understand how frustrating it is when the perpetrators can’t be caught, both for the public and the police.

“Tagging these prolific offenders so we know where they are 24 hours a day should be powerful persuasion to change their ways and will help police find and charge them if they don’t. It’s another tool helping probation staff to cut crime and keep the public safe.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.