Thieves with multiple offences to wear GPS trackers for new trial

The tags aims to deter reoffending (Photo: Shutterstock)

GPS trackers are to be fitted to prolific UK burglars and thieves in an attempt to stop reoffending after release from prison.

Under a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) pilot being trialled by Gwent, Avon and Somerset Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Humberside and West Midlands police forces, repeat offenders will be automatically tagged with the tracker for up to 12 months after their release from prison.

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Similar tags have previously been trialled in parts of England and Wales to track offenders whose crimes were committed under the influence of alcohol.

The tags monitor sweat levels every 30 minutes to analyse whether the wearer has been drinking alcohol.

More than half of people convicted of theft reoffend

More than half of those convicted of theft reoffend within a year of being released from prison, according to MoJ figures.

After the pilot schemes, the MoJ say there are plans in place to roll out the scheme to 13 further forces in September.

'We think it will have a big impact'

Minister for Crime and Policing Kit Malthouse said of the scheme: "We want to make sure we help offenders get back on the straight and narrow.

"We think 24-hour-a-day supervision, through this tag on their ankle, will help them to realise that they're effectively being watched, and therefore choose something else to do, other than go back to their former crime.

"It's a rigorous supervision in a way that we haven't really seen before and we think it will have a big impact."