Friday, 31 March 2017

More Trouble With Tags

Here's the Independent on an embarrassing admission by the MoJ:-

Minister admits G4S electronic tags may have wrongly sent people to prison

Ministers have been accused of a “colossal blunder” after admitting people may have been wrongly sent to prison due to faulty electronic tags being used to monitor offenders.

It emerged on Tuesday that straps securing the tags can incorrectly trigger alerts, suggesting they have been tampered with and making it seem as if those wearing them are illegally trying to remove them. Tests indicated that more than 100 of the G4S devices are defective, but officials tried to play down the gaffe by saying that if anyone had been wrongly incarcerated, the number was likely to be small.

Justice Minister Sam Gyimah admitted however that there is a chance that some “enforcement action” might have been taken against an offender or suspect in response to a false report of tampering. He said: “It does not mean an individual will have been automatically sent to custody. A single tamper alert without any additional evidence of an escalation of risk is likely to result in an alternative outcome, such as a warning letter. So it is unlikely that a first tamper on its own will result in an offender being recalled."

The Liberal Democrats said the episode was a “colossal blunder”, while the Government insisted there was no risk to the public.

MoJ staff notified Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS), which provides the electronic monitoring service, of an increase in the number of alerts raised when equipment worn by an offender or suspect is tampered with. This was investigated by EMS and G4S, which supplies straps and electronic tags used to monitor offenders and suspects who have a curfew as part of their sentence or bail. At the end of last month, G4S informed the ministry of an issue with faulty straps.

Mr Gyimah said: "We understand that the number of affected straps is small. Only straps that have entered the system since October 2016 are affected. This is the point at which the batch of potentially faulty straps entered circulation. G4S has been testing straps. That testing indicates that around 1 per cent (115) of the 11,500 straps in use today are faulty. If no tampering with the tag has been registered, they have operated as normal. Where a strap is faulty, however, there is a risk that it could incorrectly register that somebody has tampered with it.”

He stressed that the monitoring functions of the tags themselves are not affected and the security features within them have been working correctly and that “therefore, there has been no risk to the public”.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called for an urgent review, saying: "People may have been wrongly sent back to prison because of this Government's sheer ineptitude."

--oo00oo--

David Raho writing on Facebook:-

The EM technology G4S uses is fairly old and therefore tried and tested in the field. It is fairly reliable under normal use and when manufactured to the specification required.

It looks as if the current problems were due to manufacturing faults in a couple of batches of the bands that attach to the tag. These have anti tampering measures built in and if faulty can give false alerts indicating evidence of a tampering event or an attempt at removal. This is apparently a fairly rare fault.

This is, however, a serious matter as the decision can be made that someone is in breach for apparently interfering with the tag and they could ultimately find themselves in custody facing technical evidence that might appear to be reliable when it is in fact not.

22 comments:

  1. London CRC has not paid any staff today. People in tears at my office. S.O.S someone help us please. Latest update from management is we will not be paid today. Shambles.

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    1. They cannot MESS with your wages its against the law. Have they said when they will pay you. What a FUCK UP. SOMEONE PLEASE SHUT THESE CRC'S DOWN.

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    2. What reason have they provided for not paying in your wages?

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  2. OMG that is awful!!

    latest from our CRC - court actively giving tags as cant rely on Community Orders being managed properly. I am going to write to my MP about it.

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  3. Maybe as CRC staff whomever we're now owned by we should collectively rally the justice select committee / parliament and voice the views that have yet not been heard not listened too - my heart goes out to you guys in London - this is my constant fear working for Interswereve that they too will just not pay staff for what ever reason these corrupt bastards feel like giving

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    1. Good idea, but I am not optimistic that people would rally around, they are too exhausted with just coping in the CRC's. But I am sure that those that have been tested to their limits may make an effort.
      Jim we could do with some support from this blog to take some action.

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    2. I totally get that but what are the options - Interswerve have introduced a new sickness policy so the poor buggers that and up off sick due to work pressure / stress will end up fired off - it would be a great idea if you could assist with this Jim ???

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    3. watching Len McClusky on QuestionTime last night i was shouting at the telly 'what rights'. I feel as tho i have no rights anymore, we don't even get our increment without a 10mth delay and i've not had a cost of living rise for god knows how long. Only my mortgage is keeping me at Interserve.

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  4. One of my clients was given a final warning for tampering with his tag on since December 2016 he was so worried as he couldn't understand it His behaviour is exemplary unfortunately probation have no day on recal of HDC they are just whisked off without explanation

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  5. No wages !!! What a disgrace the employers and the government don't give a damn about us Surely the unions could take some legal action on this?

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  6. Rumour is London CRC have gone bust. Staff without wages getting hit with fines left right and centre. Some good advice from Napo sent out but I'm worried about a poor credit rating.

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  7. just before the weekend too. I dont know about others but i budget down to the last penny and don't have 'financial reserves'. Can we find out the reason for non-payment?

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  8. Not paying staff is not a problem that's only become apparent today. It's something that personnel further up the food chain have been aware of prior to today and have decided to stay silent about. No doubt the MoJ were also aware of the pending issue.

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  9. London CRC cannot pay us our wages I wonder if MTC and Amey share holders got paid their dividens. Time to go to the press. Pissed off PSO

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    1. have they said why they can't pay? What have NAPO said and what about line managers?

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    2. No reason has been given. Just Helga CEO saying they are urgently looking into this and sorry if this may cause inconvenience. Line managers have not been paid either. Slightly feel sorry for my manager she has not been paid does not know what is going on and getting it in the neck from staff.

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  10. Maybe we should just not turn up for work till the money is in the bank

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    1. I am stressed beyond belief I'll be going to my GP Monday morning and suggest anyone else who is stressed with this shit do the same.

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  11. Hope you are ok 14:19. It is certainly very stressful at the moment and I have had days when I think.I'm at breaking point. I don't want to go off with stress because it doesn't really solve anything long term as you havevthe same shit when you go back but certainly I have been close to it. Can only hope things improve soon for all our sakes.

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  12. Maybe MTCNova are quite happy to relinquish their MoJ contracts, pack up, and go back to the US?

    https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-f807-The-dirty-firm-with-pals-in-high-places#.WN6k08vTXqA

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    1. Trump saves May from prison embarrassment

      US PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s reversal of Barack Obama’s prison policy has saved Theresa May from a big embarrassment because when it comes to how to run jails, she is a lot closer to the Donald than the Democrats.

      Last August, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced it was phasing out private prison firms from Federal work because of a study written by its inspector-general which found private prisons were more dangerous than publicly run jails and more expensive.

      The US DoJ study covered firms which are also deeply involved in British privatisation. For example, US “custodial” company MTC, one of the firms in the study, was last year given control of both the troubled Rainsbrook Youth Detention Centre and all of London’s probation services. The report included MTC’s Willacy prison in Texas, a grim jail made up of massive tents.

      Inmates were so badly treated there that they set fire to it, closing the prison. For the US federal system to abandon their own companies at the same time Britain was embracing them made British privatisation look like a mistake.

      But not to worry. At the end of this February, Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions reversed the Obamaera plan to end private federal prisons.
      Sessions said Obama’s anti-privatisation plan “changed long-standing policy and practice and impaired the bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system. “Therefore, I direct the bureau to return to its previous approach.”

      The inspector-general’s report on private prison failures is just the kind of “expert evidence” Trump rejects.

      Trump’s plan means that in the US, MTC are discussing reopening the miserable Willacy jail. It also means that in Britain, May’s government can now continue with prison and probation privatisation without any potential embarrassment coming from across the pond.

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  13. ... and still we wait on the Serious Fraud Office to conclude its investigation into tagging.

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