Half of tagged criminals reoffend

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MORE than half of Wigan’s tagged criminals have breached their curfew order, resulting in further punishment.

Figures released under Freedom of Information rules show that last year, of the 408 people who were subject to an electronic tag at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, 216 failed to return to their home address before the allocated time.

The majority of offenders (138) broke the terms of their punishment once, 33 flouted the rule twice and 22 refused to comply with the order more than five times.

Over the last four years, the figures show a fall in offenders being issued with a curfew order, from 514 in 2009.

The highest number of orders was in 2010, with 536, where 287 criminals were reported for breaching the requirements.

Of these, 168 broke the terms once and 26 failed to keep up with the regulations more than five times.

A spokesman for Ministry of Justice said: “The data is from the electronic monitoring service providers.

“The information held refers to violations reaching the breach threshold reported to the relevant authority such as the Probation Trust, Prison Service, Youth Offending Service, or police, and does not necessarily relate to breach action taken.

“In many cases the subject subsequently went on to complete the order with no need for further intervention.

“While a curfew with electronic monitoring is often used as a direct alternative to custody by sentencing courts, it can also be used effectively for a range of offence types as a punishment, or as a tool to complement other community sentence interventions in a wider management package.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: “Offenders who breach the terms of their curfew can expect to be brought back before the courts and punished.

“We are committed to ensuring tagging is an effective tool in supporting the punishment of offenders and helping make our communities safer.

“For community orders, adding a curfew to supervision can cut the number of re-offences within a year by 12 per cent.”