You may have met someone wearing an electronic device on their ankle but been too polite to ask what it is about. The device means they have recently been released from gaol or are out on bail.
Electronic monitoring consists of an ankle tag, which tracks an offender’s movements through GPS and transmits this information by radio transmission.
It gives police access to a person’s location at all times and can be used to prevent someone from evading police, committing another crime, or tampering with evidence as part of their bail conditions. But it can also be used on someone that has recently been released from prison who needs further monitoring.
The anklets are made with steel and Kevlar, the same material used in bullet proof vests, making them difficult to break or remove.
It alerts police if the person has left or entered certain areas, stayed outside past curfew, tampered with the device, or approached someone they shouldn’t. This helps protect people such as domestic violence victims from their partners, or children in schools from sexual offenders.
The inbuilt GPS system can show the places that the person visits frequently, and if two or more people with electronic tags are meeting up regularly.
If the person breaks these conditions, the police will receive an email within 20 seconds. They can then respond accordingly.
Information from an electronic tag about someone’s movements can be used in court as evidence.
Even though electronic monitoring is no guarantee someone won’t commit a further crime, it has proven to be a strong deterrent, and is helping keep the community safe.