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​Smarter and more secure: new offender electronic monitoring equipment introduced

     
A new state-of-the-art electronic monitoring system is being used in NSW to back up tough new laws of the Liberal & Nationals Government that more than double prison sentences for offenders who breach an Extended Supervision Order.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard and Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin unveiled the new generation of anklets and tracking software as they toured the state’s new 24-hour-a-day electronic monitoring room at Silverwater Correctional Complex.

“This new equipment will strengthen round-the-clock surveillance of a small group of around 55 parolees and high-risk Extended Supervision Order (ESO) offenders who are already on GPS monitoring in the community,’’ said Mr Hazzard.

“It will also be fitted to 430 lower-risk offenders including home detainees who are on in-home curfew monitoring, so they can be subject to GPS spot location checks.

“The equipment makes offenders more accountable, which represents a value for money investment in community safety.’’

Extended Supervisions Orders apply to a small group of violent and sex offenders who have finished their jail sentences, whom the Supreme Court considers require monitoring on their release into the community.

In a further boost to the enforcement of ESO conditions, six detectives are being seconded to investigate and immediately pursue criminal charges against any offender who is alleged to have breached the conditions of an ESO.

Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW Police Force for the secondment of the detectives to the Corrective Services Investigation Unit.

Following a tender process, Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) selected Buddi UK Ltd to provide anklets and software for the next three years at a cost of just under $2 million a year. The flexible contract also allows CSNSW to upgrade the equipment in line with new technological developments.

While no equipment is completely tamper-proof, the anklet is difficult to remove, having more than five times the strength of the previous anklets.

The new GPS equipment:

  • Replaces an existing two-piece GPS set of anklet and waist-mounted unit with an all-in-one anklet.
    Is difficult to pull or cut off, as it contains steel bands and Kevlar which is used in bullet-proof vests.

  • Maintains the current system of alarms that alert the electronic monitoring room if an offender is tampering with the anklet or has entered an exclusion zone such as school or childcare centre.

  • Has software that ‘heat maps’ areas most visited by offenders and a new ‘interest zone’ that can signal if two or more offenders are meeting up and where. >

  • Will continue to be supported by in-home curfew monitoring, but with a bulky home landline-connected unit replaced by a small wireless beacon.

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said that while the devices alone could not prevent reoffending, they were a powerful deterrent. Evidence they collected of the offender’s movements could be used in court if required.

“It’s important the community knows this anklet is not a magic bullet to prevent reoffending but, when combined with the close supervision and management of our Community Corrections officers, it does lower reoffending risks,’’ he said.

“It can alert us to patterns of potential non-compliance that warrant further investigation, so this technology is an important aid for our officers as we strive to continually improve how we protect the community.”

Smarter and more secure: new offender electronic monitoring equipment introduced [PDF 330KB]