Satellite tagging technology allowing the Government to track offenders in the community has moved a major step closer after the Justice Secretary announced the four companies who will deliver the new service.
British company Steatite will develop and manufacture the high-tech equipment that will give us one of the most advanced GPS tagging systems in the world.
Capita will manage the overall service, Airbus Defence and Space will provide satellite-mapping and Telefonica will supply the network.
The new kit will allow us to track dangerous and repeat offenders round the clock, meaning suspects can easily be identified as having been at the scene of a crime or quickly eliminated from inquiries, delivering swifter justice and saving valuable police time and money.
The new GPS tags will also be fitted to prisoners who are given temporary release from prison, to make sure they are sticking to the terms of their release at all times.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“This technology will allow us to keep a much closer watch on the most high-risk and persistent offenders who cause so much harm in our communities.
“Monitoring the movements of dangerous and repeat offenders will be vital in cutting crime, creating a safer society with fewer victims and ultimately offering greater protection and reassurance to the public.”
In addition to stricter supervision for the most serious offenders, major reforms have been introduced to ensure that those serving under 12 months will be supervised on release for the first time. This group of offenders has the highest reoffending rates so it is essential that this glaring gap – which sees them released onto the streets and free to go back to their criminal ways – is finally addressed.
The new electronic monitoring service has been split into four lots to encourage innovation, provide maximum flexibility and deliver best value for hardworking taxpayers.
All four companies faced strong international competition to win the contracts. They will now work together to deliver closer supervision of offenders at a lower cost than the previous contracts. Once fully established in the second and third years of operations, we expect the new contracts to deliver average annual savings of £20m relative to the previous contracts with G4S and Serco.
Under the new arrangements the Ministry of Justice will have far greater oversight over costs and charging than previously, with direct access to the supplier’s systems to increase transparency.
Capita have been managing the service on an interim basis since April this year.
We will begin using the new tags by the end of the year.