THOUSANDS more offenders are set to get GPS trackers and sobriety tags in a £68.5million Budget boost to fight crime.
Rishi Sunak unveiled the investment today in a bumper budget just 27 days after replacing Sajid Javid.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave £68.5million for longer community sentences to make streets saferThe money will also be used to toughen community sentences in England and Wales, and bump up the number of offenders required to wear an electronic tag.
This will apply to convicted criminals released from prison on licence and ‘sobriety tags’ imposed on alcohol-related offenders, which ban them from drinking.
The additional funds for the probation service could see those guilty of alcohol-related offences forced to wear an electronic tag on their ankle that not only monitors their location but also samples skin perspiration every 30 minutes to determine whether drink has been consumed.
The budget said: “Protecting people and keeping them safe from crime and other threats is a principal responsibility of any government.
“The government is committed to increasing support for victims of crime in their experience of the criminal justice system.”
He also unveiled a £10million fund to tackle high-risk, high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse through early interventions.
The fund will also pay for more one-to-one interventions to tackle domestic abusers.
The extra cash forms part of an overall £100 million package.
Boris Johnson piloted putting sobriety tags on offenders when he was mayor of London but, despite a compliance rate of 92 per cent, the scheme was discontinued and never rolled out nationally.
The idea was revived by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland at the Conservative Party conference in the autumn.
Mr Sunak said: “Keeping our streets safe is one of the people’s priorities – we are already delivering on this by hiring 20,000 new police officers and building 10,000 new prison places.
“At the Budget, we will go even further with new funding to toughen up community sentences, crack down on domestic abuse and provide victims with the support they need.”
A further £15million was provided to improve the court process for victims of rape and sexual abuse.
The Treasury said the cash injection will be used to hire independent sexual advisers who are “trained to guide and support victims through the justice system”.
The Government hopes the added funding will speed up charging decisions, while also providing extra online resources for victims of rape and sexual abuse, including a single digital hub.