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  • Sara Chitseko

New electronic tags allow authorities to trace people's location 24/7

New electronic tags which track a person's location have been given the green light for roll out across the whole of England and Wales this Summer. Officials have suggested that the new tags, "will be used to create a no-go zone, check an offender is attending a rehabilitation programme, monitor an offender's behaviour, or ban someone from going within a certain distance of an address - such as a fellow criminal's or victim's home" (BBC News, 2019).

However, there is a serious lack of evidence to suggest that this new GPS tracking will actually have any impact on reducing crime (Guardian, 2019). We also have to question whether the government should be infringing on people's right to privacy. Suspicions arise, where the government has authorised the new tags in tandem with increasingly privatising probation services. It seems worryingly likely that the introduction of  these GPS tracking tags, will come at the expense of investing in alternative interventions, such as those delivered by community based organisations. It is these groups that have the fundamental relationships to support people that are serving their sentences in the community.


BBC News. (2019). Thousands of criminals to be tracked 24/7. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47256515 [Accessed 28 Feb. 2019].

The Guardian. (2019). GPS offender tagging farce tied to privatised probation | Letters. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/28/gps-offender-tagging-farce-tied-to-privatised-probation [Accessed 28 Feb. 2019].