Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, has announced today that the current programme that tags knife crime offenders with a tracking device will be expanded across almost every London borough. Aiming to reduce reoffending, the programme sees offenders who have served a custodial sentence for knife crimes fitted with a GPS device when they are released from prison.
The initial pilot saw offenders of crimes such as possession of a knife, robbery, aggravated burglary and GBH fitted with tags in Lewisham, Croydon, Southwark and Lambeth. Sadiq today announced an increased investment of over £700,000 to expand the programme across 20 boroughs across London.
This increased investment will provide up to 300 GPS tags, sharing location data with the Met Police, and Probation services to enforce restrictions on the movements of offenders, improve crime detection and monitor service users attendance at rehabilitation locations.
The pilot is supported by the new Violence Reduction Unit (VRU). Employees from MTC recently met the head of the VRU at the Cut It Out – Croydon Unites Together event.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said ‘I am determined to lead from the front and do everything in my power to tackle violent crime in London….Enforcement alone will only suppress violence – and that is why I am investing in innovative programmes like GPS tagging that will … crucially reduce the risk of reoffending.’
The scheme shows ‘significant potential’
MTC’s own Gabriel Amahwe said: “London CRC is very pleased to support the extension of the GPS tagging pilot scheme for knife crime offenders to another 16 London boroughs. Almost half of the offenders on licence tagged to date have been supervised by our employees and the results from these cases are showing the significant potential of this scheme to reduce the incidence of knife crime offences amongst our service users.
“Knife crime is a serious problem for young people in London with outcomes that can result in life changing injuries and even death for victims, as well as lifelong consequences for the perpetrators of these offences. GPS tagging is a very powerful tool to help my employees closely monitor targeted offenders on licence in the community. It also shows great promise in forcing our service users to think more carefully before they go out carrying a knife or get involved in knife crime themselves.”