Victoria to track crims via GPS

GPS could be the latest technology used to manage offenders who have been released into the public if a trial by Corrections Victoria is successful.

The two-month trial, to be conducted on 20 Corrections Victoria staff and a number of government vehicles, will assess the viability of GPS as a means to monitor offenders and track vehicles.

The trial will also test the ability of the technology to monitor movement in ‘inclusion zones’, such as homes and place of employment, and ‘exclusion zones’, such as schools and pubs.

The durability of GPS devices and their ability to work in regional and metropolitan areas, underground transit and within buildings such as high rises will also be assessed.

According to Corrections Victoria, staff volunteers will be required to undertake an extensive range of pre-determined scenarios and actions that replicate offenders’ curfews and various order conditions.

The GPS systems will be trialled in three forms: Passive, active and hybrid.

Passive GPS will monitor the movement of participants and assess them against scheduled movements.

Active GPS will allow for real-time monitoring, while hybrid GPS allows for alerts to be issued to a monitoring centre when any breach of the participant’s activities is detected.

Corrections Victoria currently uses electronic monitoring systems, known as ‘static’ systems, that use a telecommunications network and radio frequency (RF) technology to monitor an offender’s presence within a designated area and compliance with curfews. It has used the system since 2004.

Victoria has approximately 9200 offenders subject to community corrections orders and parole in Victoria.

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