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Lords pass legislation on Alcohol Tagging


Following our recent pilot scheme requiring certain offenders to abstain from alcohol and wear an alcohol monitoring tag, which was successfully tried in three police force areas including Humberside, draft legislation was passed in the House of Lords on 11th February which could see the scheme being rolled out across England and Wales.

The Lords Grand Committee met to consider the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (2012) and approve Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirements (AAMR) as a new tool to directly address alcohol-related offending. Under the proposed legislation, as part of a community sentence, judges and magistrates will be able to impose a ban on drinking alcohol for up to 120 days, and this will be monitored by using continuous electronic tag monitoring.

Addressing the Grand Committee, Lord Keen of Elie made reference to the pilot in Humberside, run by the Office of PCC Keith Hunter and the local Community Rehabilitation Company, working with the Ministry of Justice, and the encouraging outcomes it produced. Compliance in Humberside was very high, with 97.4% of service users abstaining from alcohol for the prescribed period. Lord Keen quoted Keith Hunter’s statement at the conclusion of the pilot that “The period in which the offender is tagged will give rehabilitation agencies a real opportunity to work with the individual and get them to recognise and change their behaviour, hopefully for good. I would like to see these orders available nationally as a standard feature of the Criminal Justice System.”           

The draft legislation on AAMR was approved by the Lords and will now pass to the House of Commons, if approved it will become law in England and Wales.

Keith Hunter said: “All the agencies involved in this initiative have worked hard to bring plans to fruition, which, if passed into law, will reduce the number of victims of alcohol-related crime, many instances of which are in domestic situations, and aid the rehabilitation of offenders. This shows Humberside is at the forefront of influencing innovative Criminal Justice policy, shining a light on our area for the right reasons.”

Further information on the AAMR pilot can be read HERE

Video of the House of Lords Grand Committee meeting can be viewed HERE
Posted on Wednesday 19th February 2020