Electronic Tagging

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 9th March 2009.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what effect he expects the introduction of electronic tagging to have on the number of (a) remand and (b) serving prisoners in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

Electronic tagging to support the enforcement of curfews will be available to the courts as a condition of bail and as a licence condition for a range of custodial sentences from 1 April 2009.

In bail cases, it will be for the judiciary to decide in each case whether the use of a curfew with an electronic tag as a bail condition could be an appropriate alternative to custody. The ability to incorporate a curfew and tag, in conjunction with other licence conditions, will inform decisions being made on the release of offenders on licence. Each decision will be made on a case by case basis and it is not possible to estimate with any certainty how many remand and serving prisoners will be affected.

We have made provision for 500 electronic tags to be issued over the next two years.

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