Keeping a track on perpetrators of abuse
3 July 2015 by Charlotte Knappett
Under a new scheme, being piloted by Northumbria Police from 30th June, technology will be used to create alerts if a victim of domestic abuse and their perpetrator are in close proximity to each other in an effort to prevent them having actual contact. The Domestic Abuse Perpetrator GPS Proximity Device Pilot is a voluntary scheme, which will see attackers fitted with a securely attached ankle tag while carrying a GPS tracking unit handset whenever they leave their home. The victim also carries a handset using the same GPS location technologies.
Fixed exclusion zones are set up around locations, such as the victim’s home, place of work, or child’s school which the perpetrator will be banned from entering. If the perpetrator enters any of the exclusion zones, it will be picked up by police who can then contact the victim to issue a warning depending on the severity of the situation. As well as the fixed zones, mobile exclusion zones can also be created around the victim in an effort to prevent an unwanted encounter with their perpetrator while on the move. The zones can also be used to support bail or restraining order conditions.
Detective Inspector Phil Bond, from Northumbria Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Department, said:
“This equipment will be used on a voluntary basis following an agreement from both parties but will undoubtedly provide added safety for a victim who will receive early warnings of a possible meeting with their perpetrator. This new tagging equipment alerts us to a potentially violent encounter between a couple and gives us additional options to safeguard victims. It may also be enough to stop a perpetrator even thinking of approaching a victim when they know their movements are being tracked, while steering them away from mobile exclusion zones they have unwittingly entered.”
Vera Baird, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“Any new technology that can reduce these incidents is of course a welcome addition to traditional policing methods already used by our officers to protect and safeguard victims. I know the misery and suffering domestic abuse causes and the impact it has not only on the victim, but also on those around them, including any children. This pilot will not only bring down incidents of domestic abuse but also has the potential to save lives.”
For further information about different forms of domestic abuse and the help available, please click here