In 2014, London launched the United Kingdom’s first compulsory “alcohol tag” trial in an attempt to curb alcohol-involved crime in four of the city’s most impacted boroughs. Based on the success of that initial trial, the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the Ministry of Justice have announced that the program and SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM CAM) will be used throughout the city starting in April.
London’s Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) requires participants to refrain from drinking for up to 120 days and to wear a SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM CAM) bracelet to enforce their sobriety.
A study of the first year of the program showed:
- 92% of clients were fully compliant and remained sober during the entire time of their monitoring.
- Of those who violated their sobriety orders, nearly half went on to successfully complete the program with some additional intervention by the court.
- Compliance with the AAMR was higher than other types of court orders.
SCRAM CAM has been welcomed by the police, courts, and probation officers to help reduce recidivism, ease the pressure on police and the criminal justice system, and make public spaces safer, particularly at night. In addition, people involved in the trial feel that the monitored abstinence has been helpful in giving them a “pause” from drinking, time to reflect on the impact of drinking on the offending behavior, relationships, and work, and an opportunity to break the cycle of routine drinking.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, “From assault to drink-driving, to theft and criminal damage, this innovative technology is driving down re-offending and proving rehabilitation does not have to mean prison. After such a success in South London, it’s time to roll out these tags to the rest of the capital and rid our streets of these crimes, by helping even more individuals stay off the booze and get back on the right track.”