skip to main content

A PILOT scheme which used ‘sobriety tags’ to tackle alcohol abuse in Lincolnshire is to be rolled out across the UK.

  • Last Updated: 17-12-2019 at 11:12

A PILOT scheme which used ‘sobriety tags’ to tackle alcohol abuse in Lincolnshire is to be rolled out across the UK.

The project used the latest alcohol monitoring technology, also known as ‘sobriety tags’, to tackle alcohol associated offending.

The ankle bracelets, which detect alcohol levels in the wearer's sweat, alert the authorities when someone has breached an abstinence order. They take an average of 48 alcohol content readings each day.

Now the Government has announced it will roll out the successful system across the country.

The pilot was funded by Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones and carried out by Humberside, Lincolnshire & North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company.

During the trial period Magistrates’ and Crown Courts were able to require offenders to wear the tags by executing an Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) as part of community or suspended sentence imposed on those who commit violent and other crimes while under the influence of alcohol.

If the tag detected the presence of alcohol in the system, probation services were alerted and the individual concerned sent back to court.

In Lincolnshire it is estimated that alcohol played a part in 25 per cent of all offences reported and the figures are even worse in domestic abuse cases involving alcohol, at more than 40 per cent.

Over the course of the pilot, 226 individuals were issued the AAMR order with 93 per cent successfully complying.

One offender claimed that the wearing of a tag gave him three months sobriety in which his life changed forever as it gave him the space he needed to seek help for his issues.

Today Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP announced £22m for a national rollout of the tags.

PCC Marc Jones said: “I am delighted that the Government has recognised the huge success of the project and decided to support the implementation nationwide.

“On top of the additional financial support we hope to receive, it is exciting that innovations being carried out in Lincolnshire are recognised by national Government as best practice.”

Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP said: “The successful pilots carried out in London and Lincolnshire have been an important factor in the decision to establish this technology across England and Wales.

“We believe these sobriety tags such as the ones used in Lincolnshire prove crucial in tackling one of the most significant root causes of crime and protect the public.

“It is one of a number of new Conservative policies – along with the announcement to recruit 20,000 new police officers and to create 10,000 new prison places - designed to keep people safe.”