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Tags will monitor young criminals

LEWISHAM'S police chief is behind a Government proposal to electronically tag teenage yobs.

Chief Superintendent Mike Humphrey believes tagging juvenile criminals will help free police time and make enforcing bail conditions easier.

The Home Office proposal is an attempt to curb the rising crime committed by teenagers in London.

Under the new system, courts will be able to attach an electronic tag to the ankle of a young criminal who is believed to be likely to commit repeat offences while on bail.

The tags work by having a receiver installed in the youth's home, which sends an alarm signal to the police if the offender moves further than 10 metres away from it during the time they are supposed to be off the streets.

Chief Supt Humphrey said: "Tagging is a positive alternative to custody, as custody has proven to be expensive and does not act as a deterrent to re-offend.

"By using tags we can monitor if a young offender is keeping to his or her curfew."

Figures for January show street crime rose 73 per cent from 147 incidents in January 2001 to 254 incidents in January 2002.

Tagging of juveniles on bail will be implemented in inner London on April 22.

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