London’s piloting of sobriety tags is to be expanded after initial results showed they were successful in 92 per cent of cases.
Courts in Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Sutton have been able to require offenders whose crimes are connected with alcohol to abstain from further drinking to stop re-offending.
Compliance is monitored by an ankle bracelet which samples perspiration every 30 minutes to test for alcohol consumption and alerts probation officers to any breach. Those found to be breaching their alcohol abstinence order can be returned to court for further sanctions.
Data published by City Hall today shows that 92 per cent of offenders subject to an order complied with the court’s conditions.
As a result the Ministry of Justice has agreed to part-fund an extension of the trial to allow courts across the capital to take part.
The MOJ will provide £400,000 towards the expended pilot with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime contributing £450,000.
Justice Secretary Michael Gove said: “I am absolutely committed to reducing re-offending – so we can cut crime and better protect the public.
“By giving courts this new power and making the latest technology available, we are helping offenders understand the detrimental impact drinking alcohol can have on their behaviour.
“This innovative approach has delivered impressive results so far and we will be building on them with this this wider London roll out.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson added: “Alcohol-fuelled crimes put a huge strain on frontline services, costing the taxpayer billions of pounds each year.
“From assault, to drink-driving, to theft and criminal damage, this innovative technology is driving down re-offending and proving rehabilitation does not have to mean prison.
“After such a success in South London, it’s time to roll out these tags to the rest of the capital and rid our streets of these crimes, by helping even more offenders stay off the booze and get back on the right track.”