Domestic abusers to be fitted with GPS tags to stop them breaching orders

Domestic abusers will be made to wear electronic tags when they are released from prison in a bid to stop them going to areas they are banned from.

Around 200 criminals jailed for offences including physical abuse, stalking or harassment in London will be fitted with the GPS devices as part of a year-long pilot.

The £230,000 City Hall project, which will cover every London borough, will see probation staff alerted if an offender enters an area from which they are banned.

This could include an exclusion zone covering a victim’s address, and will alert authorities if they are breaching an existing restraining order.

It comes after a large increase in domestic abuse cases since last year.

Concerns have been raised over domestic abuse during the pandemic, with the Metropolitan Police recording a 6 per cent increase in these offences between March and December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Sadly we have seen a rise in domestic abuse during lockdown and as well as working to protect victims, it’s vitally important we also focus on addressing the behaviour of offenders to drive down this abhorrent crime.

“That is why I am investing in a new pilot programme – the first of its kind in the UK – to specifically tag domestic abuse offenders after their release from prison.”

The pilot follows a City Hall anti-knife crime tagging scheme launched in February 2019, which has seen 430 offenders monitored with the GPS devices.

Tens of thousands of offenders are monitored with electronic tags across the UK, either by a standard device that is linked to a box at a specific address, or a GPS device that monitors location 24 hours a day.

They are used to make sure an offender keeps to a certain curfew or area.