Nine out of ten members of the public believe people who commit crimes under the influence of alcohol should receive a sentence which bars them from drinking and fits them with a tag to automatically detect any breach, new polling suggests.
Ninety four percent of people surveyed by Opinium backed sobriety tagging while ninety six percent were concerned about alcohol related crime.
Since legislation was introduced as part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 courts have been able to require the use of ‘alcohol tags’ or sobriety bracelets as part of a sentencing requirement. The technology was developed by SCRAM Systems who commissioned the polling in the first week of January to assess public opinion of its potential wider role in the criminal justice system.
The polling found:
- 96 percent think alcohol-related crime is a problem
- 94 percent back alcohol (sobriety) tags for alcohol-related offences
- There is strong support among the public for alcohol (sobriety) tagging as an effective sentencing method o reduce and prevent alcohol related crime (60 percent see the tags as effective, compared to 49 percent for community sentences, 44 percent for restrictions of movement, 42 percent for curfews, 21 percent for fines, 21 percent restorative justice, 22 percent for prison)
- For offenders being released from custody on licence for offences where alcohol consumption was a factor, support for the use of alcohol (sobriety) tags as part of the process of release back into the community was also high (87 percent would like to see them used, compared to 13 percent who would not)
Amit Sethi, UK Programme Manager for SCRAM Systems said,
“January is a time when many people reflect on their alcohol consumption and self-impose a period of abstinence. Our polling clearly illustrates strong public concern about alcohol-related crime and a desire to see sentencing reflect the causes of offending behaviour.
“After the festive season, our courts are also particularly busy, processing cases where alcohol consumption played a part in offending. The Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement, delivered via a sobriety tag, is proving both an effective and popular sentencing option when alcohol has contributed to a crime being committed.”
SCRAM Systems are the developers and the only UK providers of this technology which monitors the alcohol consumption of offenders in the criminal justice system. They work with criminal justice professionals as well as sentencers (such as magistrates) to ensure the technology is implemented correctly, providing a period of alcohol monitoring to ensure abstinence and enabling offenders to reflect on the role alcohol may have played in their offending behaviour.
For more information please contact Jo Coles, SCRAM Systems UK Press Officer on 07827 818460.
Notes to editors
AAMR technology was introduced for use in the UK as part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012. It allows courts to impose a requirement that an offender abstain from alcohol for a fixed time period of up to 120 days and be regularly tested, via a transdermal alcohol monitoring device in the form of a ‘tag’ fitted around the ankle, as part of a Community or Suspended Sentence Order. The technology has been piloted in London since 2014 and has been available to all London courts since January 2017 and also in Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.
SCRAM Systems is the world’s leading provider of alcohol testing technologies for the criminal justice industry. Since 2003, the company’s flagship Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology, SCRAM CAM has been used to monitor drinking in more than 600,000 individuals in six countries. The company is the only provider of transdermal alcohol monitoring tags in the U.K.
The polling was conducted by Opinium between 2nd and 5th January (2,005 nationally representative adults polled across the UK). Results broken down by city and region.