Electronic Tagging

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th July 2017.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many electronic tags used by the Electronic Monitoring Service to monitor ex-offenders have been reported (a) faulty and (b) lost.

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

In March 2016, G4S became the sole provider of Personal Information Devices (PIDs) – commonly referred to as tags after taking over the contract to supply electronic monitoring equipment from the previous joint provider Serco. The contractual arrangements entered into with G4S and Serco in 2014 were different, the Ministry of Justice purchased equipment from G4S while the equipment was leased from Serco. The data recording requirements were therefore different and there is no comparable data of sufficient quality available for Serco equipment.

The answer provided refers to lost and broken PIDs for all individuals subject to a curfew requirement.

Table 1: Lost G4S Personal Identification Devices (tags) [1]

Financial Year 2015/16

Net Losses


Table 2: Broken G4S Personal Identification Devices (tags) [2]

Financial Year 2015/16

Sent for repairs


PIDs are deemed to be lost if they are not recovered within four weeks of the end of the electronic monitoring order. Therefore, none of the lost tags relate to individuals who are still subject to electronic monitoring.

[1] The data applies to Radio Frequency (RF) Personal Identification Devices (tags) only.

[2] The data applies to Radio Frequency (RF) Personal Identification Devices (tags) only.

‘Broken’ indicates the RF tag was sent for repair. There are a variety of reasons why PIDS can be sent for repair including (but not restricted too) low battery life, damage, (including that caused by the subject), and faults. The need for a repair can be determined at any time, thus not all PIDS sent for repair will have been fitted to a subject. A fault may be established during the installation process hence there should not be assumed to be a relationship between the numbers of repairs and the actively monitored caseload. Damage is most often caused by the subjects wearing the PID, so it should not be assumed that damage is the result of a manufacturing issue.

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