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It is calling for new tags to monitor criminals’ every movement using GPS technology.
Around 80,000 offenders are tagged every year, including former prisoners released early and criminals serving community sentences.
A study earlier this year revealed around six in ten tagged criminals break the terms of their curfew.
But it found they could be at home for as little as one minute of a single 12-hour period and still get off with only a warning.
Critics say tagging is wrongly used as a cheap alternative to prison.
When tags were introduced, politicians said they would act as a ‘prison without bars’, but the latest report concludes this never happened.
Researchers also called for police and probation officials to help monitor offenders instead of the private companies doing the work now.
The report said tagging cost £13.14 a day per criminal in England and Wales, compared with only £1.22 in the US.Under Ministry of Justice plans, the use of tagging is expected to grow sharply in coming years, with criminals placed on longer curfews.But probation unions say plans to tag up to 180,000 criminals would put the public at risk.Former assistant chief constable Chris Miller, who was in charge of tagging for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said in a foreword to the report: ‘What we have been given is a sclerotic, centrally controlled, top-down system that has enriched two or three large suppliers, that lacks the innovation and flexibility of international comparators and that fails to demonstrate either that it is value for money or that it does anything to reduce offending.’ Christopher Lowcock wrapped his prosthetic limb in a bandage to fool staff who set up the device in his home.
The 29-year-old was under curfew for drinking and driving, and carrying an offensive weapon, but by removing his leg he was able to leave his home without detection.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘We are committed to ensuring electronic monitoring is an effective tool in supporting the punishment of offenders and helping make our communities safer, and are already taking forward some of the proposals in this report.