Young people to be tagged, home secretary announces

Juveniles on bail awaiting trial will be electronically tagged,
home secretary David Blunkett has announced, writes
Jonathan Pearce

Under the plans courts will be given powers to tag 12 to
16-year-olds who have been granted bail, where they believe repeat,
imprisonable offences are likely to be committed.

The tagging will allow any conditions, such as a curfew
requirement, to be monitored.

“There will be no ‘untouchables’ in our criminal
justice system,” said Blunkett.

But Paul Cavadino, chief executive of rehabilitation charity
Nacro, said there were problems with tagging children, “not least
the fact that some will regard the tag as a badge of honour”.

Bail support and supervision programmes would be more likely to
keep them “out of trouble”, he added.

Blunkett’s measures to tackle youth crime follow
confirmation from Bradford council that it recently issued
anti-social behaviour order warning letters to three pupils at the
city’s Laisterdyke High School.

The council’s director of housing Geraldine Howley said:
“The letters were given out in the presence of the police, the
school’s community officer and their parents, and have been
successful in putting a stop to their unacceptable conduct.”

According to the school’s head teacher Joan Law, the
action has been taken to address a succession of computer equipment
thefts. The school believed that working with the council on
anti-social behaviour orders would be more effective than excluding
the pupils from school.

The council also has plans to issue warning letters to a further
nine pupils at the school, said Howley, adding: “We would stress
that this is an isolated incident and Laisterdyke is not a problem






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