Tagging to be introduced in Wales for offenders who commit alcohol-driven crimes
The UK Government will trial the use of alcohol tags in Wales as part of a raft of new measures announced by Prime Minister Boris which aim to clamp down on violence and anti-social behaviour.
The trial will extend a smaller pilot programme that has run since last year and will use tags which detect alcohol in the sweat of offenders guilty of crimes involving drink, on prison leavers in Wales.
Offenders who commit alcohol-driven crimes will be ordered to wear the tag which takes a sample of their sweat every 30 minutes and alerts the probation service if alcohol is detected.
They face further court sentences or fines if caught breaching a ban.
More than 100 offenders have been tagged since the scheme launched in Wales last October and the government claim it has proven effective, with offenders staying sober on over 95% of days monitored.
Offenders have credited the scheme with helping them improve their lifestyle and staff say the tags have helped stop reoffending.
Alcohol plays a part in 39% of all violent crime in the UK, and the social and economic cost of drink-related harm is estimated to be around £21.5 billion per year.
Other measures announced by the PM include plans to make offenders doing community service wear hi-vis clothing and the removal of rules introduced by former Prime Minister Theresa May which limited police officers stop and search powers.
In 2015, when Mrs May introduced the restriction, she said: “When stop and search is misapplied, and when people are stopped and searched for no good reason, it is unfair, it wastes valuable police time, and it damages the relationship between communities and the police.”
Describing stop and search as “a loving act”, Mr Johnson said: “I think that giving the police the backing that they need in law to stop someone, to search them, to relieve them of a dangerous weapon I don’t think that’s strong-arm tactics, I think that’s a kind and a loving thing to do.
“The people who often support stop and search most passionately are the parents of the kids who are likely themselves to be the victims of knife crime.”
Police chiefs and the Police federation, which represents rank and file officers, have both complained of a lack of consultation from the government and the federation described the proposals as “ill thought out” and containing “gimmicks”.