Ankle tags to monitor offenders’ alcohol consumption

31 July 2014 Last updated at 00:06

Ankle tags to monitor offenders’ alcohol consumption

Offenders convicted of alcohol-related crimes will have to wear ankle tags to monitor whether they are still drinking, under a new pilot scheme.

The tags will record levels of alcohol in their sweat.

The 12-month trial in four London boroughs – Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Sutton – gives courts the ability to ban people from drinking alcohol.

Up to 150 people are expected to be made to wear the tags for four months to make sure they comply.

The aim of the pilot scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, is to reduce the costs and harm caused by excess drinking – a Home Office study has estimated that about one million violent crimes a year in England and Wales are linked to alcohol.

For the next year, courts in the four boroughs will be able to impose “alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirements” on people who commit crimes while drunk.

Offenders who are subject to the orders will have to wear an anklet known as a transdermal tag. If the alcohol level in their sweat shows they have been drinking, they may face further penalties.

Up to 150 offenders are expected to be fitted with the tags, including motorists repeatedly convicted of drink-driving and people who cause trouble after drinking too much in pubs and clubs.

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