‘Sobriety tags’ will be rolled out across England from today in an effort to prevent alcohol-fuelled crime, it has been announced.
It comes after a pilot in Wales successfully reduced reoffending rates and helped offenders “stay sober”.
Under the scheme, adults who have been to prison for alcohol-related offences may be required to wear a tag that takes a sample of their sweat every 30 minutes – known as a ‘sobriety tag’.
The tags can tell the difference between drinking alcohol and other forms of alcohol, such as hand sanitiser or perfume, work 24/7, and can even alert the probation service should the wearer attempt to “block contact between the tag and their skin”.
Over 100 offenders were involved in the pilot in October last year, which saw sobriety rates increase to a record 95 per cent of days monitored. Those asked to wear tags also reported an “improved lifestyle” and were less likely to reoffend.
Commenting on the scheme, Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, said: “These tags have already brought enormous benefit to Wales since they were introduced in October, with one offender I met saying it not only changed his ways but also saved his life.
“This smart and powerful new tool is helping the fight against alcohol-fuelled violence which ruins too many lives and families and creates mayhem in our town centres.”
According to the latest statistics, alcohol plays a part in four in 10 (39 per cent) violent crimes across England and Wales each year.
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