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Police have expressed confidence in their use of ankle
bracelets, despite figures revealing 13% of defendants have
escaped electronic monitoring since the scheme was introduced
Figures released under the Official Information Act show 255
reports of defendants absconding, among the 1839 subject to
electronic monitoring since 2006-07.
The highest number of incidents in a financial year was the
79 recorded in 2011-12.
Electronic monitoring was introduced in 2006, as a
cost-effective way of reducing the number of people serving
time in prisons. The anklets relay a signal to a control
If a person goes beyond the monitored vicinity of the unit
for an unauthorised reason an alarm is raised with police.
Police Prosecutions Service operations manager Inspector Mike
Johnson said police took ''very seriously anyone absconding
or breaching bail conditions and not complying with court
orders - and take appropriate action in response''.
The monitoring contract expires in March 2013. Police
declined to give details of the cost of each unit, as this
could affect commercial negotiations. Police confirmed
$1,620,000 had been spent on the monitoring equipment between
September 2006 and the end of October 2012.
Insp Johnson said the anklets were physically difficult to
They were designed to alert the monitoring company if they
were tampered with, ''so police do not consider the design or
security of the technology to be an issue''.''
However, defendants may attempt to abscond withthe anklet
still attached, which then alerts the monitoringcompany, who
will advise police.''
Police in the Southern District told the ODT there were
concerns over who was granted electronic bail, and the ease
of which some offenders could remove the devices.
Two recent manhunts were sparked after defendants removed
One of those men, Shannon Berryman (23), was on the run for a
month before he was found hiding in the ceiling space of an
Oamaru address late last month.
Insp Johnson said police had ''every confidence that the
technology provides the monitoring company and police with an
accurate, prompt and reliable notification of every instance
where an [electronic monitored] bailee leaves the bail
address without authorisation''.
• Electronic monitoring on bail provides the
courts with an option to bail remand prisoners on condition
they are electronically monitored.
• Any person remanded in custody may apply for EM
• Applications are decided on a case-by-case
basis. Police oversee aspects of the compliance of those
Source: NZ Police