Drunks will be forced to wear 'sobriety tags' in crime crackdown

Mayor of London Boris Johnson watches as London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton Steve O'Connell has his sobriety tag removed

Mayor of London Boris Johnson watches as London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton Steve O'Connell has his sobriety tag removed

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Drunken yobs will be forced to stay sober and made to wear so-called ‘sobriety tags’ in a scheme unveiled by Boris Johnson in Croydon this morning.

Under the terms of the pilot, up to 150 offenders at a time will be fitted with the tags and ordered to not drink alcohol or be sent to prison.

The first order was passed at Croydon Magistrates’ Court earlier today, where the scheme was launched.

The tags wil be given to people in Croydon, Sutton, Lambeth and Southwark.

If anyone who is tagged has a drink it is detected by the tag and they could be brought back in front of the judge to face further punishment, which could include a prison sentence.

The Mayor of London said: "There’s no particular reason for choosing Croydon for the launch but it is a particular coincidence that here today the first alcohol abuse management requirement has been issued by the court against somebody.

"That’s good news because it will allow us to test a new way of tackling alcohol related crime.

"The group that we are particularly targeting is people that drink a bit too much and get in a fight and rather than incarcerate them, give them a chance to get off the drink."

Having had a drink last night the Mayor added: "I would not have wanted to be wearing one last night but these tags aren’t targeted at me.

"They are targeted at people involved in violence and that type of offence.

"I’m told by judges that they are very effective."

Croydon and Sutton London Assembly member Steve O’Connell kicked off the trial by wearing a tag for 48 hours and had it taken off at the launch.

He joked that he had a drink last night because "The last thing you want is for it to come up with zero for the trial."

The tag works by recording alcohol emissions - measuring air and sweat emitted from the skin every 30 minutes.

The pilot is the delivery of an election manifesto pledge by the Mayor to lobby for new sentencing powers to tackle alcohol related crime through a compulsory sobriety scheme.

It is based on a programme in South Dakota, USA, set up by former White House drugs adviser Professor Keith Humphreys.

This saw 99 per cent of tagged offenders’ tests coming back negative and the jail population falling by 14 per cent.

Comments (4)

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9:16pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Monstermunch17 says...

Absolutely ridiculous.

It's the violence that's the problem, not the booze. Focus on that, the actual crime. This is one of those gimmicky things that will never work in practice, but will create a few welcome headlines and photo-ops in the right-wing press for the mayor, until they are quietly dropped a few months later, once they have been shown to be unworkable and thoroughly flawed.
Absolutely ridiculous. It's the violence that's the problem, not the booze. Focus on that, the actual crime. This is one of those gimmicky things that will never work in practice, but will create a few welcome headlines and photo-ops in the right-wing press for the mayor, until they are quietly dropped a few months later, once they have been shown to be unworkable and thoroughly flawed. Monstermunch17
  • Score: 4

12:12pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Alex_Bradford says...

It seems to have worked well elsewhere, so why not here?
Let's give it a chance, and if it fails Boris got it wrong!
It seems to have worked well elsewhere, so why not here? Let's give it a chance, and if it fails Boris got it wrong! Alex_Bradford
  • Score: -2

12:57am Sat 2 Aug 14

SomethingWonderful says...

If it stops those that like to get drunk and fight, under threat of incarceration, then let's give it a go. Shame it wasn't around for one of our learned councillors a few months ago...
If it stops those that like to get drunk and fight, under threat of incarceration, then let's give it a go. Shame it wasn't around for one of our learned councillors a few months ago... SomethingWonderful
  • Score: 2

10:26am Sat 2 Aug 14

the prompromprom says...

shouldnt a "trial period" of these leg tags be used on MPs ? because most of them spend vast periods in the bars of the houses of parliment, no wonder the public are turning to UKIP and other right wing parties
shouldnt a "trial period" of these leg tags be used on MPs ? because most of them spend vast periods in the bars of the houses of parliment, no wonder the public are turning to UKIP and other right wing parties the prompromprom
  • Score: 1

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