Electronic Monitoring tags: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

Broken down by the last three financial years (2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20),
1) How many incidents of broken, damaged or tampered electronic tags for prisoners or community sentenced offenders were recorded.


Electronic monitoring can be part of a court order or part of a licence. These results cover equipment used for all forms of electronic monitoring over the years requested, which includes all those released on a form of licence (such as Home Detention Curfew or a parole licence) or given a community based order from a court.

You asked about broken, damaged or tampered tags. Broken and damaged have been taken to mean same for the purpose of this response. Damage can occur in different ways, including intentional damage or damage as a result of the ordinary wear and tear of equipment. Equipment such as tags and monitoring units provide a regular status check to the operator of the monitoring service so that equipment that is damaged can be identified and replaced. The damaged equipment below includes Home Monitoring Units or Personal Identification Devices (tags). Due to the robust nature of the monitoring devices, the category damaged often means cosmetic damage rather ceasing to operate. Any damage, whether suspected to be malicious or not, results in replacing the device since all monitored persons are installed with undamaged and unmarked devices, to ensure any damage is attributable to that individual. These figures do not include any damaged equipment received at the monitoring centre from stock as that would be returned and not used to monitor any individual.

You also asked about tampers. The answer in respect of tampers provided below are for those instances where there was substantiated damage to the Personal Identification Device straps which hold a tag in place around the ankle or wrist. Such damage to the straps is not necessarily detrimental to the ongoing operation of the equipment and is therefore distinct from the category of broken/damage which is separately reported. All substantiated tampers are reported back to the court or prison, where they can make a judgement about what if any role the monitored person might have played in the tamper of the equipment before reaching a decision on how to proceed in response to any damage or tamper.

















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The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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