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GPS Tagging Pilot in Nottingham

Nick Walsh attended a meeting at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 19 September at the request of the Ministry of Justice.    GPS tagging in bail, sentencing and parole cases is to be piloted in Nottingham from the end of October 2016.

GPS tagging pilotA team from  the Ministry was to set out how it was proposed that the pilot would work.  Unfortunately the none of the MoJ team attended.   As a result, some information was forthcoming from HMCTS alone.

In appropriate cases a tag will be fitted to a defendant’s ankle and will track wherever that person goes.  The purpose will be to monitor compliance with, for example, exclusion requirements of court orders and bail conditions not to go to certain places or associate with certain people.

In potential remand cases the condition will only be available if otherwise the court would be choosing to remand the defendant into custody without the benefit of the tag.  It should not be used in conjunction with the electronic monitoring of curfew requirements.

GPS tagging pilotThe unit will need to be charged for one hour in every twenty-four, which means that for that hour the defendant will not be monitored.  As with all GPS systems, there may be a loss of signal.  This might occur, for example, in underground car parks.  Where this occurs the police will know where a person was when the signal was lost and where they were at the point the signal reconnected.

The GPS tagging equipment will be fitted and monitored by the police.  The numbers will be limited to 1200 across the whole country.  They will not be available to defendants who are homeless, have mental health difficulties or live in an area where the pilot is unavailable.

Nick and our other advocates will be able to put this condition forward as an alternative to custody soon.  If you wish any advice now, or in the future, please contact your nearest office or email us here.

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