More than 25,000 additional offenders will be tagged as part of plans to cut crime and protect victims, the Government has announced.
GPS tags are currently used to track and identify high-risk individuals after they have left prison.
But the Acquisitive Crime GPS tagging project will now be expanded to half of England and Wales, meaning an additional 26,000 offenders will be tagged.
If successful, the scheme – which launched in April – will roll out nationwide.
The initiative aims to target thieves and burglars serving a sentence of a year or more following their release from prison, as well as perpetrators of domestic abuse to help protect partners and children.
The electronic tags can track the whereabouts of offenders 24 hours a day for up to 12 months using GPS satellites.
It was revealed earlier this year that location data tracked by a GPS tag had been used to convict a thief for the first time.
Commenting on the announcement, Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab said: “This major increase in high-tech GPS tagging will see us leading the world in using technology to fight crime and keep victims safe.”
The report also reveals that alcohol monitoring tags will be used on more than 12,000 prison leavers known to commit crimes under the influence. The electronic tags automatically alert authorities if alcohol is detected in the offender’s sweat.
“From tackling alcohol-fuelled violence and burglary to protecting domestic abuse victims, we are developing tags to make our streets and communities safer,” added Mr Raab.
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