During a Public Accounts Committee hearing this week, James highlighted how tagging technology can help reduce offending including for domestic abuse. He also pressed on using innovation funding to develop a tag that can monitor for illegal drug use.
Across the country there are currently 15,000 people tagged with a device including those on pre-trial bail, those subject to community orders, offenders released from prison, and other groups. The evidence session focused on the effectiveness of the programme and the poor decision making that led to nearly £100 million being wasted on an IT system.
One area where the impact of tagging is striking is in alcohol monitoring where the tag measures alcohol concentration in sweat and sends an alert if the wearer has consumed alcohol. Early evidence shows that among community-based offenders and offenders on licence with an alcohol abstinence requirement, there was an overall sobriety rate of 97.2 per cent and 95.6 per cent respectively.