John D'Orazio

John D'Orazio

Former Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Justice; Community Safety

    Offender tracking systems to be tested

    18/12/2005 12:00 AM
     
    18/12/05

    Four different satellite based offender-tracking systems will be trialled for use in Western Australia’s justice system early in the New Year.

    Justice Minister John D’Orazio said the technologies had been selected for trial, following a call for expressions of interest that attracted seven contenders.

    Mr D’Orazio said the equipment would be tested using volunteer staff from the Department of Justice in January and February next year.

    “Tracking some offenders who are serving community-based sentences might help increase community safety,” he said.

    “For instance, the system could sound the alert if offenders were in an area from which they had been forbidden, or were out and about at times when they should not be.

    “It could also provide a record of their movements if there was a concern they might have committed a new offence.

    “However, we will not compromise our primary commitment to community safety - offenders who should be imprisoned will still be imprisoned.”

    The Minister said the tests would help determine if the technology was affordable, reliable and provided adequate coverage and also if it was able to withstand tampering.

    “Any technology is only as good as the systems we have to operate it - so the trials will give us an idea of the resources we would require to monitor offenders and respond to alerts,” he said.

    “We will not make a decision to proceed with the technology until after we have assessed these trials.”

    Mr D’Orazio said the State’s sentencing laws already provided that offenders could be required to wear tracking equipment as part of their sentence.

    He said the four companies which would be participating were:
    • United Kingdom Detention Services/On Guard Plus Ltd - a UK alliance;
    • Sentinel Offender Services/Tellus Radio Pty Ltd - a US/WA alliance;
    • Abakus-Elmotech Pty Ltd - a Sydney based provider; and
    • BR Security Group Limited/Comsat Security Pty Ltd - a WA based alliance.
    Minister's office - 9213 7150