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Sunday 17 December 2017

Gardai want to see tagging of robbers

Gardai seized a car which was bringing children to a homework club
Gardai seized a car which was bringing children to a homework club
Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

ELECTRONIC tagging would stop gangs who are carrying out dozens of late-night robberies across the country each week, gardai say.

The gangs are already ahead of the gardai in technology terms, using electronic devices to disable alarm systems on houses and businesses. In recent months, gardai recovered CCTV images of one of the gang members holding up a GSM signal blocker to disable alarms during a robbery in a rural village.

Gardai now want the Government to finally act on the introduction of electronic tagging. This is being mulled over by the Department of Justice – years after the tagging of criminals has been introduced around the world.

Gardai say compulsory tagging of people with convictions for robbery and burglary and who are arrested again for a similar offence would stop the gangs. Tagging generally comes with curfew restrictions.

The only form of tagging here is a pilot scheme being carried out by the Prison Service for between 30 and 50 prisoners who are considered a threat but have been released early on parole.

It opted for the electronic tags in 2010 after it emerged it was costing €900,000 annually to guard the serial killer Geoffrey Evans in hospital.

Gardai who have been monitoring the activities of the travelling robber gangs say the prisoner pilot scheme should be extended and would have an instant effect.

Irish Independent

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