London is cracking down on alcohol-related crimes, forcing
drunken yobs to wear 'sobriety tags' that measure whether they are consuming
alcohol. The new scheme was launched in Croydon by London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Under the terms of the pilot, up to 150 offenders at a time will be fitted with the tags and ordered to not drink alcohol. The first order was passed at Croydon Magistrates' Court . The tags will be given to people in Croydon, Sutton, Lambeth and Southwark.
If the offender who is tagged has a drink it is identified by the tag and they could be brought back to the judge to face further punishments which include rigorous imprisonment.
"That's good news because it will allow us to experiment a new way of tackling alcohol fuelled crimes. The group that we are particularly targeting is people that drink a bit too much and get in a fight. Also, I want to give them a chance to get off the drink rather than keeping them in prison," he said.
Croydon and Sutton London Assembly member Steve O'Connell kicked off the trial by wearing a sobriety tag for 48 hours and had it taken off at the launch. The tag works by recording alcohol emissions - measuring air and sweat emitted from the skin every 30 minutes.
The pilot is the execution of an election manifesto pledge by the Mayor to lobby for new sentencing powers to control alcohol related crime through a compulsory sobriety project.
It is based on a scheme in South Dakota, USA, set up by former White House drugs adviser Professor Keith Humphreys.
This witnessed 99 per cent of tagged offenders' tests coming back negative and the jail population falling by 14 per cent.