Thames Valley: Prolific Offenders Tracked

23 January 2014, 10:32 | Updated: 23 January 2014, 10:58

Heart's being told a total of 7 prolific offenders in the Thames Valley are being fitted with trackers to stop them re-offending

Police is working with Thames Valley Probation service for the pilot, with the prolific offenders fitted with trackers on a voluntary basis.

It's starting in Aylesbury, Wycombe, South & Vale and Reading Local Policing Areas are doing it as part of the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) programme to tackle persistent offenders who keep committing crime. 

The aim of IOM is to manage the small amount of offenders supported probation service and other agencies in securing housing, employment, or help with drug and alcohol addiction, with a view to reduce their offending.

The technology:

The electronic tracker will use GPS/GSM technology fitted around their ankles to monitor their movements through live and historical tracking at any time. 

By targeting these offenders, police and probation will be able to keep an eye on their movements.

Although offenders must agree to having a tracker fitted, it is of benefit for them to do so as, if they are suspected of committing a crime, the tracker can prove their whereabouts at any given time.

Under the pilot, 14 trackers are currently available and have been fitted to seven offenders so far. There are 54 offenders currently in the community managed by the IOM across these LPAs.

Insp Lewis Prescott-Mayling, Thames Valley Police lead for IOM, said: “IOM is a useful tool to manage those offenders who cause a disproportionally large amount of crime in their community.

“By targeting these offenders, Project Atlas aims to reduce their offending and support their rehabilitation as well as reduce costs associated with monitoring offenders, for example the removal of the need for officers to physically check their location or quickly eliminate them from suspicion for an offence.

“We are planning on running the pilot for 12 months, and then will evaluate the effectiveness of the technology used and whether tracking reduces the risk of reoffending of those offenders taking part, before deciding whether it will be rolled out across Thames Valley.

“IOM makes a real difference in reducing offending in our communities and I am sure Project Atlas will be another tool to tackle persistent offending.”

Thames Valley Probation Director and Lead for IOM Gabriel Amahwe said: "This is a good opportunity to make use of the latest tracking technology to support rehabilitation of offenders, provide constant surveillance of offenders and get information about their activities and whereabouts day and night.

“The use of this approach is part of our community safety strategy to reduce re-offending and make our community a safer place in which to live and work".