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PCC rubber stamps offender tracker package

Dozens more Buddi devices will be rolled out following highly successful pilot, says elected commissioner

A generous funding package to provide extra electronic tags to monitor prolific offenders has been signed off by Humberside's police and crime commissioner.

The force has confirmed dozens more Buddi tracker devices will be rolled out in the wake of a pilot launched in 2012 - after the initiative proved to be a great success.

The Buddi devices are locked around the ankles of high-risk Multi-Agency Public Protection Agreement (MAPPA) offenders and known prolific offenders as part of an overall offender management plan.

Trials of the scheme have been carried out with known criminals including burglars, robbers, shoplifters and sex offenders with some highly promising results.

Sat-nav technology

Using the same technology as sat-nav devices, detectives working in Integrated Offender Management Units can check on the whereabouts of an individual - and rule them in or out of an offence.

Six of the Buddi devices were initially rolled out for the pilot launched by Humberside Police and the Probation Trust - these were provided to offenders on a voluntary basis.

The force said most wearers felt the tag was a strong deterrent to committing offences - believing there was a strong likelihood they would be arrested as a result.

Numbers of the tags will be increased to 30 by October - and 40 by the end of the year - after the funding packaging was rubber stamped by PCC Matthew Grove.

Strong deterrent

Detective Chief Inspector Darren Webb, who manages the Buddi Tagging Scheme, said the devices had proven to be both a strong deterrent and cost-effective measure.

He added: "By making more trackers available we will be able to offer it to more eligible offenders - a positive step in protecting communities and dealing with offenders.

“For those offenders who are making positive progress we will also be able to leave the tags on for longer, therefore further help them break out of the reoffending cycle.

Mr Grove shared the sentiment. He added: “The funding I am providing to expand the use of tagging will I am sure have a significant impact on offending rates and better protect the public.

"There are two areas in which increased tagging will do this; firstly the vast proportion of crime is committed by a small number of offenders. In the main we know who they are and where they live, and often they are in and out of the criminal justice system. Tagging enables the police to exactly pinpoint their location at any given time.

“The second area is monitoring registered sex offenders and ensuring they are obeying the conditions of their license. In both cases this is a strong deterrent not to commit further offences and will free up officers to concentrate their time preventing and detecting crimes elsewhere."

While the tag was a voluntary option, Mr Grove said that this approach allowed officers and probation staff to identify those unwilling to co-operate.

The tag had also been instrumental in returning those who committed further offences to prison - one burglar who was arrested found himself in court and with a swift custodial term imposed.

A sex offender who was found to have visited a local park on two occasions - in breach of his strict license conditions - was also arrested and sent to prison for the remainder of his sentence.