Offenders who pose a threat to their former partner or children in England and Wales face being forced to wear an electronic tag on leaving prison to protect their victim from further trauma.
Starting in the East and West Midlands, up to 500 offenders will be made to wear a GPS device in a pilot expected to be rolled out across the two nations by the ministry of justice next year.
Conditions may be imposed on the tagged ex-prisoners, such as being banned from going within a certain distance of a victim’s home and abiding by a strict curfew. Breaking those rules would mean an offender risks being returned to prison.
“Survivors of domestic abuse show great strength and bravery in coming forward, and it is right that every tool is used to protect them from further harm,” said lord chancellor and justice secretary Alex Chalk. “The tagging of prison leavers at risk of committing further domestic abuse is a further protection we are introducing to help victims rebuild their lives and feel safe in their communities.”
Describing the initiative as a welcome step forward in keeping survivors safe, chief executive at Women’s Aid, Farah Nazeer, said: “The end of a relationship does not mean the end of the abuse, which instead can escalate and become life-threatening.”