Trackers should notify domestic abuse victims, say campaigners


Campaigners have suggested fitting convicted stalkers and domestic abusers with GPS trackers in order to protect victims from further harm.

Liz Saville-Roberts, Plaid Cymru’s home affairs spokesperson, said the trackers would notify victims when the perpetrator is in the immediate vicinity.

If a restraining order is breached, the tracker would be able to notify police and have the abuser arrested. This is a step up from previous plans, in which the proposed trackers would not be able to notify the victim of the abuser’s presence.

The calls follow a planned reform of domestic violence laws, which could include banning perpetrators from drinking alcohol and stopping them from confronting victims in court.

“We know that manufacturers could develop simple devices based on transmitters and receivers that could provide a vital extra layer of security for victims and genuinely reduce the incidents of reoffending by convicted stalkers and abusers,” said Ms Saville-Roberts.

“A victim would carry a receiver and be alerted if their abuser were to enter a court-imposed exclusion zone, with the police also receiving an alert in high-risk incidences.

“Above all, it would give the victim an increased sense of safety and confidence – something that is taken for granted by most of us but is severely lacking amongst some victims of abuse.”

The Government’s draft domestic abuse bill was published last month. Home secretary Amber Rudd said: Through this bill I want to fundamentally change the way we as a country think about domestic abuse, recognising that it is a crime that comes in many forms – physical, emotional, economic. This is about creating a society that protects individuals and families at the earliest opportunity.”

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