PCC Marc Jones welcomes nationwide ‘sobriety tags’ scheme which piloted in Lincolnshire

A scheme which used ‘sobriety tags’ to tackle alcohol abuse is rolled out across the UK today (Tuesday) after a successful pilot in Lincolnshire.

PCC Marc Jones

The project will use the latest alcohol monitoring technology, also known as ‘sobriety tags’, to tackle alcohol associated offending.

The ankle bracelets, which detect alcohol levels in the wearer’s sweat, alert the authorities when someone has breached an abstinence order.

New legislation enabling courts to order people to wear the tags has now come into force across England and Wales.

The pilot was funded by Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones and carried out by Humberside, Lincolnshire & North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company.

During the trial period Magistrates’ and Crown Courts were able to require offenders to wear the tags by executing an Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) as part of community or suspended sentence imposed on those who commit violent and other crimes while under the influence of alcohol.

If the tag detected the presence of alcohol in the system, probation services were alerted and the individual concerned sent back to court.

A review of the project found that:

• Over the course of the pilot, 226 individuals were issued the AAMR order. These individuals were predominantly white (98%) and male (88%). Almost all (96%) wearers were under 50 years old.

• Half (52%) of wearers were sentenced in Lincolnshire, one-third (33%) in Humberside and 13% in North Yorkshire at the time of receiving the AAMR order.

• Alcohol is a significant factor in offending in the pilot areas, particularly in domestic violence cases and 31% of wearers were convicted of a domestic violence offence.

• Compliance with the AAMR was high, 94% successfully completed the requirement and 97.4% of all the days monitored were free of alcohol.

One offender claimed that the wearing of a tag gave him three months sobriety in which his life changed forever as it gave him the space he needed to seek help for his issues.

PCC Marc Jones said: “I am delighted that the Government has recognised the huge success of the project and supported the implementation nationwide.

“A review of the pilot shows the use of tags has made a very real difference in combatting alcohol-fuelled offending and it is good news it can now be employed across the UK.

“On top of the additional financial support we hope to receive, it is exciting that innovations being carried out in Lincolnshire are recognised by national Government as best practice.”