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Criminals could be banned from areas under GPS tracking plan

Technology to be used to monitor offenders in Scotland

GPS monitoring of offenders is to be allowed in Scotland for the first time, under government plans.

The Management of Offenders Bill could enable use of the satellite-connected technology replace the current radio frequency-based tracking.

The Scottish Government says this will allow exclusion zones to be set up to give “victims significant reassurance and respite”.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The expansion of electronic monitoring increases the options available to manage and monitor people serving their sentence in the community. Our justice reforms have delivered large reductions in reoffending and I am determined to build on the progress made.

“It’s our duty to ensure victims see that people who are convicted of an offence are held to account, and they can be assured by the opportunities that electronic monitoring can offer, including in future the use of exclusion zones.”

Nancy Loucks, Chief Executive of Families Outside, said: “We welcome the increased scope for use of electronic monitoring in the new Management of Offenders Bill.

“Electronic monitoring offers a valuable tool for reducing the use of imprisonment. Prison fractures families, whereas with the right support in place, electronic monitoring can keep families together, thereby maintaining social supports and reducing the risk of further offending.”

The law, if it passes, will also cut the amount of time people have to disclose previous convictions when applying for a job.