Police Burnham-On-Sea

Prolific burglars, robbers and thieves are to be tagged with GPS trackers in a bid to stop them reoffending.

Offenders will be automatically tagged for up to 12 months after being released from prison, under a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) pilot.

Gwent, Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Humberside and West Midlands police forces are all taking part.

The MoJ said tracking offenders 24 hours a day would act as a deterrent.

It estimated 250 offenders, who have served a year in prison, will be fitted with the tag in the first six months of the scheme, as part of their licence conditions.

Police will be able to cross-reference the GPS data with reports of new thefts, robberies and burglaries to see if offenders were in the area at the time.

Burglars broke into Diane Titmus’s hair salon, stealing about £2,000 of stock and all of her stylists’ hairdryers and straighteners, in December last year.

The break-in was the 12th time the Newport salon had been broken into in 30 years.

“They just took the most expensive items, they knew what they were doing,” said Ms Titmus.

“The first time it happened was some years ago. I came in on the Christmas weekend, our biggest weekend, they had taken every single item.

“I had to run around to all my friends and borrow dryers, scissors, just to be able to work that day.

“I was really very, very upset, but also angry. How dare they? I worked really hard all my life to have this, just for someone to come in and take it.”

Ms Titmus said it had happened so many times she no longer made claims on her insurance because of the increase it would mean to her premium.

“Other times they’ve cost me £500 when they break a window and they probably had about 30p in pennies that were left in the drawer,” she said.

“We just have to write it off as a loss. We work hard for a week to pay the burglar – that’s how it works out.”


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