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MOPAC & MoJ extend 'Sobriety tags' pilot scheme

Pilot scheme harnesses technology to cut re-offending in alcohol related crimes in London boroughs.

The London Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), together with the Ministry of Justice, yesterday announced an extension of a pilot scheme that monitors criminals’ alcohol intake. The innovative scheme, which harnesses technology to reduce re-offending in alcohol related crimes, will now be extended across London. Results from the initial pilot, which covered four London boroughs over 18 months and involved ankle bracelets being put on offenders whose crimes were influenced by alcohol, showed that it was successful in 92% of cases. 

The ankle bracelets monitor levels of alcohol in an offender’s perspiration. Consumption of alcohol, which breaches their alcohol abstinence order, can be detected and offenders could be returned to court to face further sanctions.

MOPAC is running the scheme and is putting £450,000 towards the costs, with the MoJ contributing a further £400,000. Justice Secretary Michael Gove said of the extension "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."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said "Alcohol-fuelled crimes put a huge strain on frontline services, costing the taxpayer billions of pounds each year. 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." 

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