Skip to Main Content

[Case Study] Sobriety Tags Help UK Borough Target Alcohol Offenses, Reduce Costs

In a first-of-its-kind pilot for the U.K., the borough of Blackburn with Darwen in northern England is using SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring to achieve better outcomes among alcohol dependent service users, as well as in family law and domestic abuse cases.

Alcohol-related issues cost Blackburn with Darwen £68 million each year and burden the services provided by the local council. To better address alcohol-related crimes, in 2014 the borough created a pilot program with SCRAM CAM bracelets, often referred to as sobriety tags in the U.K. The voluntary program initially focused on individuals with a history of alcohol misuse and public disorder offenses. Based on early successes, the use of SCRAM CAM expanded into cases overseen by Children’s Services, as well as cases involving domestic violence.

To date, the program has provided sobriety monitoring to more than 80 people in the borough. The borough is also seeing financial benefits from the tagging, with a projected savings of £8,000 over hair-strand testing.

Those who wear the tags truly want to address their drinking issues, and SCRAM CAM is helping. In one recent case, a gentleman who had been convicted of a violent, alcohol-related offense got sober while in prison. When he was released he wanted to wear a tag to prove that he was no longer drinking. He didn’t have access to his son when he first got out. He found a place to live, secured a job, stopped offending, and eventually got back access to his son. SCRAM CAM allowed him to prove his sobriety and make progress toward getting his life back on track.

Read the entire case study to learn more about this innovative program: Sobriety Tagging Improves Service User Engagement, Addresses Alcohol Offences

Author Profile Picture

Amit Sethi has more than 18 years’ experience working within the criminal justice sector and is now the Head of European Operations for SCRAM Systems. His previous positions include Senior Probation Prosecutor at the National Probation Service and Programme Manager at the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. He holds a degree in Law with Accountancy (BA Hons), completed the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law (London), and has received qualifications in project management.