back to article Blighty's prosecutors slammed for failing to deliver savings on electronic tagging

The UK's Ministry of Justice has been slammed by the government's spending watchdog for failing to achieve value for money on its controversial electronic monitoring programme. The National Audit Office found the £60m GPS tagging system for offenders is five years behind plan. It was supposed to reduce costs by £9m, but has so …

  1. Commswonk

    That'll be a first then...

    The Ministry has learnt costly lessons from its failings

    It will have had to opportunity to learn, but I doubt very much if it has.

    Thames Water has been seriously criticised in the past (might still be for all I know) about the quantity of water that leaks away between reservoir and consumer. If could be stopped from haemorrhaging our money between collection and "genuinely useful expenditure" then we probably wouldn't have a deficit.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      "It will have had to opportunity to learn, but I doubt very much if it has."

      Well this is the UK Justice Ministry you're talking about.

      Split off from the Home Office in the hope that a more focused brief would get better results than the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink list of stuff the HO is responsible for (until it comes for them actually taking responsibility for the latest f**kup, when it turns out they are not).

      This is the Ministry (and it's predecessors) that's been trying to move the UK Courts system (courts, cops, PO's, Solicitors, prisons etc) to move beyond the faxed letter as the SoA in reliable data transmission since the mid 80's (saw an old PCW about it).

  2. vulcan

    "The Ministry has learnt costly lessons from its failings...."

    Amyas Morse should be on the comedy circuit. I hope he said that t-i-c.

  3. Ragarath

    No Understannd

    How can it cost 60million to put a battery, cellular chip and gps chip in a box to stick to someones leg? These are all commodity parts. Yea some tamper-proofing but to me it just sounds like money to the boys.

    1. 2460 Something
    2. Commswonk

      Re: No Understannd

      The prototype was probably the size of a briefcase.

      On a more serious note I suspect that making GPS work reliably on an ankle bracelet could be quite challenging; just sitting in a car or bus could stop it working completely. It might work for "house arrest" but be hopelessly unreliable elsewhere.

      1. Redstone

        Re: No Understannd

        The prototype was probably the size of a briefcase.

        ...and that was supposed to be the sub-dermal tracker... Users complained about chafing.

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "t might work for "house arrest" but be hopelessly unreliable elsewhere."

        That's pretty much how this scheme works.

        Is unit within X metres of your house and picking up base station?


        Call centre and report where crim is.

    3. teebie

      Re: No Understannd

      Based on the arrest records of Capita staff, securely sticking the device to someones leg was seen as an optional extra.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Understannd

      I thought the same, just stick a phone in a tamper proof box and strap then enable tracking. Job done.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cost comparison

    At what point does it actually become cheaper just to pay some people to physically follow offenders around, rather than using an electronic tag to do the job?

  5. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    An inappropriate gavel again

    See here.

  6. vir

    The Original "Tower Model"

    "The essence of it consists, then, in the centrality of the inspector's situation, combined with the wellknown and most effectual contrivances for seeing without being seen...a spot from which, without any change of situation, a man may survey, in the same perfection, the whole number.... Confined in one of these cells, every motion of the limbs, and every muscle of the face exposed to view...indulged with perfect liberty within the space allotted to him, in what worse way could he vent his rage, than by beating his head against the walls?"

    - Jeremy Bentham, Panopticon

  7. handleoclast

    This is outrageous

    This is a total waste of public monies.

    The perpetrators should be prosecuted for peculation.

    As punishment, their movements should be restricted by means of an electronic tag.

    Oh. That's not going to work, is it?

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