A new electronic tagging project could help Derbyshire officers to send more burglars back to prison if they continue to offend.
The national project, which launched in the county yesterday (29 September), will see burglars, robbers and thieves fitted with GPS trackers.
Officers will be able to check whether a tagged offender has been in the area at the time of an acquisitive crime, such as a burglary, robbery or theft.
Criminals will be monitored 24 hours a day – for up to 12 months – on release from prison as part of the pilot, which is being run by the Ministry of Justice.
The focus is on acquisitive crimes because these have high rates of reoffending compared to many other types of offences.
Sally Turner, Integrated Offender Management Co-ordinator for Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “We know how invasive and upsetting crimes such as burglary can be for victims, so I am delighted that we will have new information available to help us catch those responsible, while working with partners to robustly manage offenders in the community.
“No one should be able to profit by targeting others, and this move will make life a lot harder for those who seek to do so. Derbyshire Constabulary is committed to tackling burglary and other acquisitive crimes – this is another tool to help us do that.”
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster also welcomed the move. “People consistently tell me they are worried about burglary and theft. They want to know we are taking every action possible to prevent crime in their communities and this is one of many ways we will do that,” she said.
“We know burglars, robbers and thieves are the most likely to reoffend and yet far too many slip under the radar, leaving officers and victims deeply frustrated. These new rules will not only help to deter their activities but will also help police identify suspects quickly and easily. The message to criminals is simple; change your ways or you will find yourselves back behind bars.”
Under the new rules, burglars, robbers and thieves who have served a prison sentence of a year or more will be automatically fitted with a tag on release to monitor their whereabouts 24-hours a day for up to 12 months.
Offenders will be managed through the existing Integrated Offender Management (IOM) framework to enhance collaboration between Police, Probation and other agencies to either engage with offenders to address their offending or enforcement.