New GPS trackers to help keep closer eye on criminal offenders in B.C. communities – New Technology
WATCH: British Columbia will soon be using a system, which uses GPS technology to track people who are out on parole. Rumina Daya explains how it works.
A new electronic supervision program that closely tracks criminal offenders is supposed to give British Columbians a piece of mind, but some critics say appropriate resources need to be allocated to ensure monitoring is effective.
A tracking system uses GPS and cellular technology to track an offender’s location. It programs ankle bracelets that help supervise offenders in the community and monitor compliance with court-ordered area restrictions.
The new GPS technology works the same way cell phone technology works with signals of where an offender currently is – or has been – tracked by the system.
In B.C., offenders are placed on electronic supervision by order of a provincial or Supreme Court judge and an electronic device is attached to suitable clients and monitored by BC Corrections.
Currently, the most common use for electronic supervision in B.C. is to monitor house arrest and curfew orders through the use of radio frequency.
B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris says using GPS tracking technology is a major step-up.
“The old technology was [using] radio frequency, so it only monitored somebody when they are in close proximity to where they were supposed to be,” he says. “But if they left, we’d have no idea where they were.”
With the new system, if an offender has a geographic restriction, such as a “no-go zone” and they violate that condition, the GPS trackers will send a signal that triggers an alarm.
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