WA uses GPS to track criminals

Dangerous sex offenders will be tracked using satellite technology after $6 million was allocated for the initiative in the 2012-13 State Budget, by the Western Australian Government as part of its focus on increasing community safety.
Corrective Services Minister Terry Redman said GPS technology allowed an offender’s exact whereabouts to be tracked via satellite, operating similarly to other GPS navigation devices.
“GPS tracking will enable authorities to pinpoint the location of an offender at any given time and respond to any breaches,” he said.
“The offender wears a device on either the ankle or wrist and his or her movements can be tracked by a monitoring unit installed at the Department of Corrective Services.”
The minister said an alarm was activated if the offender entered an ‘exclusion zone’ or tried to tamper with the device.
Mr Redman said the only similar technology currently available to the Department of Corrective Services was radio frequency equipment, which monitored a small number of offenders on curfew requirements and home detention bail, but was not able to track their movements.
Attorney General Christian Porter said the GPS technology will enhance the way these high-risk offenders are managed and supervised.
“The devices will provide a reliable tool to ensure sex offenders released back into the community are properly monitored.”
The technology could initially be fitted to the 16 offenders who are currently subject to the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act 2006.  Selection of the type of equipment to be used will be subject to normal tender processes.
Once implemented, GPS tracking will be reviewed to assess its effectiveness, and its potential expansion to monitor other high-risk offenders, such as arsonists.

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