Scotland steps back from routine tagging of offenders under 16 years old

    Plans to allow all offenders aged 16 and below to be
    electronically tagged have been removed from the Antisocial
    behaviour etc (Scotland) bill but less far reaching proposals still
    remain, writes Amy Taylor.

    The bill, which reaches its third stage next week, still allows
    offenders aged 16 and under to be tagged if it is part of a package
    of measures awarded as an alternative to sending them to
    residential accommodation where this is seen as more
    beneficial.

    At the moment tagging can only happen to offenders aged 16 and over
    in Scotland.

    The Scottish Executive is also discussing 11th hour changes to
    other parts of the bill in order to ensure they receive enough
    support from MEPs.

    Labour and the Liberal Democrats are currently working towards a
    compromise on proposals that empower police to disperse groups of
    two or more young people.

    Donald Gorrie, the MSP representing the Liberal Democrats in the
    discussions, said that he anticipated they would reach an agreement
    and come up with proposals that were agreeable to both
    parties.

    Bill Aitken, a Conservative MSP, said that he only expected the
    proposals to be slightly changed.

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