Saturday, 24 May 2014

Third Time Lucky for "GPS Monitoring" of Sex Offenders?

"Sex offenders could be forced to take lie detector tests when they are freed from jail to prove they pose no risk.
Probation officers have begun rigorous training to become lie detector examiners, under new plans by the Ministry of Justice.
Around 1,000 serious offenders released into the community will be put under stringent tests to ensure they are sticking to their licence conditions.
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright claims the move will give Britain one of the world's toughest approaches to Freed sex offenders.
The compulsory lie detector tests are the latest idea to tighten up controls on sex offenders, which will also see their every movement tracked by satellite tags, when the technology is available, the Ministry of Justice said."
Hang on, haven't we been here before? 
"Convicted child abusers will be forced to wear tracking devices upon their release, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has promised.
Paedophiles will be equipped with GPS ankle tags so police can track their whereabouts after they have served their prison sentence.
The new scheme will be rolled out across Britain early next year, the Ministry of Justice confirmed today." (ie Spring 2013.... hmmm what happened then?)
These ideas are well behind the times of course, as this news item from 2003 shows - 
"The Home Office is considering using tracking technology to monitor sex offenders, BBC Newsnight has learnt. As public pressure mounts on the Government to find new ways of dealing with child abusers, a report for the programme revealed that ministers are considering the possibility of using technology to electronically track convicted child abusers every minute of the day.
Newsnight gained exclusive access to one of a number of satellite tracking systems being considered by the Home Office Electronic Monitoring Unit, which could follow paedophiles wherever they go.
The Sky Guardian system is the culmination of years of work by Shy Keenan, a victim of child sex abuse.
Speaking to the programme she said: "I spoke to one of the child molesters. I asked him straight, 'what kind of treatment would stop you?', and his response to me was, 'I like molesting children, it's great. I love doing it. The only thing that would actually stop me would be if you cellotaped a policeman and a probation officer to my arse'.
"And as blunt and straight as that was, it sat with me for ages."               
The Sky Guardian system Keenan created with Clive Crosby and the satellite tracking company Tracker involves a tag attached to the offender's ankle and a mobile phone that alarms if he fails to carry it with him.
He can be tracked 24 hours a day via a computer at a monitoring centre and certain areas like schools or playgrounds can be 'geo-fenced'.       
If the offender approaches these areas he can be contacted directly by a probation or police office on an automatic voice channel on the phone."
and this one from 2006
"According to Keenan, who has developed the satellite tracking system with firm Sky Guardian, the Home Office is enthusiastic about conducting trials for the scheme. Under the system - dubbed SG-Rom (Sky Guardian Remote Offender Management) - paedophiles would wear an almost indestructible bracelet and be given a mobile phone fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology so police can constantly track the offender and pinpoint their exact location in the UK.
On the phone there is a "panic button" which offenders can press, linking them to trained counsellors if they are feeling vulnerable or believe they are in danger of re-offending.
If there are concerns about an offender's whereabouts, they can also be contacted via the mobile phone.
The location of schools can be "geo-fenced", meaning that an alert would be sent to the police if an offender approached. Police would be called immediately if the mobile phone and tag were separated."
Personally, I prefer the GPS device in the last two articles -"Phoenix R.O.M. as it was known (Remote Offender Management). Not only the device itself, but the added extra's such as a "talk-down" option, the alerts & mobile devices.
Why was this not taken seriously & implemented by the Government at the time, between 2002 and 2006, it really should have been!!
Will it be third time lucky?
Will the MoJ include, as part of this, the options that Phoenix ROM had?

1 comment:

  1. The GPS devises are only as useful as their monitoring and human supervised compliance. That, and related funding, seem to be the biggest challenge.

    It is common in some countries for convicted paedophiles to be restricted, upon prison release, to a very limited geographic area, say 100 feet from their residence, before an alarm registers.

    It may be a matter of will rather than available technology. If the public demanded, the resources and staffing would be there to make this GPS monitoring work better.