Bradford police launch tracking system to help cut reoffending rates (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford police launch tracking system to help cut reoffending rates
8:00am Monday 4th November 2013 in News
Police in Bradford are using high-tech satellite tracking to monitor prolific offenders and help to keep them on the straight and narrow after their release from prison.
The new initiative is helping persistent criminals such as burglars, who are wanting to make a fresh start, to stay out of trouble once they are back in the community.
The new Voluntary Tracking System is run by police officers at the Bradford district Integrated Offender Management team, supported by probation officers, from their “hub” at Shipley.
It started in July following a pilot project in Leeds and has so far dealt with around a dozen cases, with varying degrees of success.
Inspector Kevin Pickles, head of the Bradford unit, said: “It is about reducing crime and is a fantastic tool. You are not going to get 100 per cent compliance straight away. But while it is difficult for prolific offenders to stop offending instantly, reoffending rates are down through this scheme. Some people have a history of coming out of prison and immediately reoffending for various reasons. Under the tracking system, while some may have eventually reoffended and gone back to prison, it has kept them on the right lines for much longer.”
Three offenders are still successfully on the scheme.
Police officers from the team work in prisons, interacting with prolific offenders. If the offenders agree to take part in the scheme they are met, on their release, at the prison gates by a police and probation officer from the Integrated Offender Management unit.
They are tagged on their first appointment and shown how the equipment works.
There is a follow up visit a couple of days later.
Insp Pickles said: “They are monitored by satellite and it is very accurate. It will track people nationwide and internationally.
“This is looking at assisting offenders who want to listen and engage. The advantage for them is that they get the confidence that we’re not going to arrest them or disrupt their family lives by making home visits when they are trying to go straight. We can also support them by helping with accommodation.
“It’s carrot and stick. If they abide by the rules we will assist them, but if they offend we will know through the tracking and they will find themselves back in prison.”
Phillippa Tibbetts, of Bradford Probation, said: “This is another excellent example of the success of the Integrated Offender Manage-ment model where police, probation and others work together to harness all resources available to effectively tackle reoffending."
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