I think they threw away the original fag packet that the plans were originally worked out on.
Your faith in the rigour of the system is admirable, and to be commended, but I fear it is misplaced. Literature? Highly, highly unlikely. Grayling's attitude requires no evidence, he goes with his gut. Frankly we need to stop attributing honourable motives to these people. They have none. It is all balance sheets and bonuses for directors and those on the various levels of the payroll. PS-MoJ, we know you track this blog. Some of us, as you can see, see right through you ;)
It begs the question as to WHEN the short custodial sentences will be allocated to (mainly) CRC. If they are at sentence stage, then it will be impossible, and I stress that word, to visit and assess each and every client. What is likely to happen is that those doing less than 6-8 weeks will be given a discharge appointment to see their OM, many of whom will FTA. So then we are back to breaching/recalling them, adding costs and time to the process, costs and time to the Court process, cost and time to the recall section, cost and time to the Police who have to look for them. Now I cannot see how this is going to be effective!!
And, if this was not bad enough, we all know that when many people decide to go AWOL as there is a warrant out for them, they just stop signing on. Sooooooo where will they get any money from?
Bingo. They'll likely rob it. So crime goes up.
So we now have an increase in cost, time, effort and crime. And that's before we get to the impact on the CRC.
Oh, and I've also used the Buddi tags. They are quite good at keeping an eye on your customers...right up until the point that they cut it off. And throw it away.
So now they have charges of Criminal Damage and compensation for the lost tag, which will be taken from benefits (after 3 months to set it up) leaving them short of money and then they go out to steal. If ever there was a 'thing' which personified 'Omnishambles' then TR is it.
Sit back, do the bare minimum and nothing else and just watch the whole fucking thing explode....just remember to keep your head down in case of shrapnel!!!
I was involved in the IOM/PPO pilot for satellite tagging and unless there has been a massive change in the technology in 3 months you still need a house to plug the beacon into and a power supply to keep it charged. It is also massively intensive manpower-wise as it requires a lot of work to cross match offences with peoples locations if it is going to be used for investigation/enforcement purposes.
Yeah, the battery (which was half the size of a house brick) needed charging each night and the offender was plugged into the mains for 6 hours as the tag remained on his leg with a power cord stretching to the plug. At least I knew where he was, maybe this is what they are alluding to :) Oh, and who will pay for the additional electricity as I know many of mine were on a pre-paid meters?
Most of my current caseload have been on one of these trackers at one time or another over the past 12 months (the police pay, I'm in IOM). I agree with what everyone else is saying - there just isn't the manpower to keep an eye on their whereabouts every minute of the day and that's with only a small percentage of offenders having a tracker. Also, when they disengage and want to do a runner they just cut it off. They have their advantages don't get me wrong but they are in no way a panacea and would be pointless for most people.
OMG, can you imagine the breach process...and the extra business through the magistrates court where incidentally Grayling want recalls reviewed rather than via parole board, the latter being too busy because of the increase in oral hearings as a result of the recent supreme court decision, which in turn will require more attendees from probation and prison staff which in turn will leave probation office/prison staffing levels reduced when TR has already caused massive disruption to staffing cover and workflow....isn't it going swimmingly Mr Grayling?
The whole operating model for TR is based on ignorance, erroneous assumptions and a lack of informed and consequential thinking. This also applies to Grayling's prison policy. It is a time-bomb that is going to go off any time. A tragedy is inevitable and prisoners are already dying. How much evidence is enough?
Grayling is like Teflon, nothing sticks, and he gets away with what ever he chooses to do everyday. TR is shyte and he is an arsehole and it looks like we have to live with it. It doesn't seem to matter how many prisoners die, what riots and upheavals are going on in the CJA, he's still around and no one can seem to override the mess he is making. He has got a free hand to do what ever he likes and at what ever expense. Someone higher than him must be supporting his plans for him to carry on recklessly.
Quote from a CRC CEO:-
"MoJ have told all prime bidding contractors to relax on through the gate under 12 month plans as they will specify something that will roll out in April!"
Unlike the MoJ, the Scottish Government have conducted a widespread consultation exercise on the use of tagging and handily published an extensive briefing document. Of particular interest are the following reservations identified for the new GPS system:-
In considering any possible uses we need to be mindful of what the technology limits are. For example:
GPS usually works in most domestic homes, but may not work inside all buildings,
GPS usually works while travelling in cars, however may not work on trains,
GPS drift (movement in accuracy of signal) might occur when static for long periods of time and near water,
GPS accuracy is affected by nearby tall buildings and does not work underground, however,
GSM Location Based Services (LBS) can be used to fill in where a GPS signal is unobtainable.
A perceived weakness of GPS is that it generates masses of data which can be difficult to interpret. However, that perception may in part come from those unfamiliar with electronic monitoring systems more generally as the level of data generated in essence is not all that dissimilar to the current data generated. In practice, there is the option to have secure Web Based access to the information so that service professionals could access the information themselves remotely, so for example an appropriately trained probation officer could access an immediate update on an offender's location if that would be beneficial. Alternatively, the monitoring company could "package" the information and communicate it on to the relevant parties in a way that is easily interpreted, such as a report.
The presentation of the locational information on the map allows the location of the tag to be seen over any date range and allows for multiple inclusion and exclusion zones. These zones can be of a number of different shapes (circles, rectangle, polygons etc.) any size, to different time schedules and with or without buffer zones (buffer zones are areas that are set just outside an exclusion zone to which entry generates an early alert to possible boundary encroachment). So, you could be excluded from a specific space (for example, a football stadium on a Saturday), or excluded from any building (such as a public house on a Sunday), depending on the order or licence requirement.
Exclusion zone set of irregular shape, with buffer zone
There are no absolutes about accuracy or performance of any GPS device. However we can reliably say what the likely accuracy of any one "fix" is within a particular range. (A fix is where the GPS system locates the tag in a particular place at a particular time). Depending on the strength of signals to the nearest satellites a fix might be accurate to 2-5 meters, 5-10 meters, 10-20 meters etc. "No absolutes about accuracy" does not mean the data can't be used it just means that whoever is using it needs to understand the difference between fixes that are accurate to 2 meters as compared to entries that are accurate to 20 meters. Additional assurance can be gathered from multiple fixes. So, if an offender has generated 20 fixes or data points at regular intervals on a map within 5 minutes, while any one point may be subject to drift, nineteen others all showing an offender proceeding in a certain direction gives you a great deal more certainty about the result showing his or her movements. The possibility of drift though means that GPS has some limitations as to how well it can be used to enforce a boundary. This is a major point to consider in thinking about possible uses of GPS. Any monitoring system that uses GPS therefore needs to make sure that the correct evidential weight is given to GPSinformation obtained.
For example, an individual skirting around the edge of a restriction boundary may be shown as encroaching on the boundary as a result of drift. This can be dealt with by way of buffer zones set up electronically around boundaries so that an entry into a buffer zone generates an early warning about a possible boundary encroachment. Similarly as outlined above, multiple data points would help eliminate the possibility that any one "fix" was as a result of drift. Furthermore, by using a combination of RF and GPS, you can use RF to monitor an offender curfewed to their home during the night and GPS to track their whereabouts out-with that location during the day. The RF will give you a more certain curfew to the boundary of their house.
Illustration showing how GPS data displays on a map and demonstrating that each of these dots will have a measurable level of accuracy - making correct interpretation of the data very important.
While advances to battery technology have increased in recent years, GPS can be very draining on batteries and battery life depends on the frequency with which the system provides updates on locations (every 10 seconds, every 30 seconds, every minute etc.). The battery recharges from flat in 1.5 hours or for up to 1 hour every day. In practice, the tag would need to be charged daily. The development of an "on body" charger means this now becomes an easier task to perform whilst at the home address. As a consequence, the tag does not need to be "plugged in" or removed in order to charge it. Instead the "charger" is charged and then clipped over the tag to pass on the charge while the offender can move around within their property during this process. If in the course of ordinary operation the charge is low then the tag vibrates to give a low battery alert. The tag uses assisted GPS in order to get a faster initial locational fix and it contains sufficient memory to store over 1 week of data. Battery life can be remotely checked by the monitoring company.
It is important to note that charging equipment will involve the cooperation of the tagged individual. Therefore any GPS system without incentives to charge the equipment or sanctions for not charging the equipment would seem likely to encounter a high degree of non-compliance as a result of non-charging of equipment. This is a difference from the way the current RF system operates where there is less of an active role for the offender in maintaining the operation of the monitoring equipment.
Just as a reminder, here's a thorough report prepared by Napo in 2012 detailing just how crap the present system is.