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.
Mayor said there's no particular reason for choosing Croydon
for the launch but it is a particular coincidence that the first alcohol abuse
management requirement has been issued by the court against somebody.
"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.