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TAGGING EXTENDED TO TACKLE 17 YEAR OLD BAIL BANDITS

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From today, 17 year old offenders across the country face the ...
From today, 17 year old offenders across the country face the

prospect of being electronically tagged whilst on bail. Powers to tag

17 year olds, which were introduced in the ten street crime areas in

July 2002, will now be available to courts nationally to help tackle

the problem of teenagers who repeatedly break the conditions of their

bail and re-offend.

The scheme will mean that if a 17 year old is bailed with the

condition that they must stay at home during certain hours, a tag

will alert the monitor via equipment in the home if they go out

during those times. This will help keep them at home at the times

that they might be offending, but enable them to continue with their

education, training or employment.

Paul Goggins, Home Office minister said:

'There is a core group of young offenders, which is responsible for a

disproportionate amount of crime, creating havoc in the community.

Although this group is relatively small, it is important that they do

not feel they are immune from sanctions.

'Today we are giving courts across the country strengthened powers to

deal with 17 year olds who are involved in serious offences whilst on

bail. Tagging is an effective extra option to control offenders'

behaviour and reduce repeat offending and is an important weapon in

our armoury for reducing youth crime and making our streets safer.'

National extension of bail tagging will ensure that 17 year old

serious or persistent offenders are treated the same as 12-16 year

olds for whom bail tagging is already available nationally.

It means that a range of robust community based measures will now be

available to the courts for 17 year olds, including the use of Bail

Supervision and Support Schemes and the use of the Intensive

Supervision and Surveillance Programme on bail. It will ensure that

the use of custodial remands is used as a last resort and reserved

for the most serious and persistent offenders.

Notes

1. Electronic bail tagging for 17 year old offenders is designed to

prevent them committing further offences while on bail by electronic

monitoring of any curfew requirement made as a condition of bail or

remand.

2. Bail tagging for 17 year olds was initially introduced in the 10

street crime areas in July 2002. The 10 areas are Inner London,

Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Thames Valley, Avon and Somerset,

Lancashire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Merseyside and

Nottinghamshire.

3. Bail tagging for juveniles (12-16 year olds) was introduced

nationally on 1 June 2002 under sections 131 and 132 of the Criminal

Justice and Police Act 2001.

4. The technology for the tagging of juveniles on bail will be

provided by:

- North of England - Securicor Custodial Services Ltd;

- Midlands and Wales and London and the East - Premier Monitoring

Services Ltd;

- Southern Region - Reliance Monitoring Services Ltd.

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