[July 2004] Satellites will track 5,000 of the worst criminals in Britain
Satellite technology will be used to track 5,000 career criminals who are responsible for one in every 10 crimes in Britain, the Home Secretary David Blunkett will announce tomorrow. The radical new technology, which has been developed in the US, will enable law enforcement officers to pinpoint the exact location of criminals who have been released early from prison and fitted with electronic tags.
It will feature among a series of measures in a five-year plan to tackle burgeoning violent crime and antisocial behaviour. Home Office figures released next week will show police forces recording rises as high as 25 per cent. A Home Office source said: "We are the largest users of tagging outside the US and we will continue to do this. We will introduce satellite tracing for prolific offenders as well as for domestic violence and sex offenders."
Other measures include increasing the number of community support officers from 5,000 to 20,000 by 2008, putting drug-using criminals through treatment programmes and locking up those who refuse help, as well as making greater use of antisocial behaviour orders. Tony Blair is expected to reassure voters that protecting "law-abiding citizens" from lawless teenage gangs and drunken yobs will be central to government policy.