Sobriety tags to tackle alcohol-fuelled crime introduced in Wales

27th October 2020

Offenders in Wales who commit alcohol-related crimes can now be banned from drinking and ordered to wear a sobriety tag to ensure that they are complying with the ban.

The tags monitor the offenders’ sweat every 30 minutes and will alert the probation service if alcohol is consumed.

It follows successful pilots in London and aims to reduce reoffending where alcohol is the cause.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “Anything that will help to reduce alcohol-related crime is welcome and this new tool will certainly be useful in some cases.

“However, it is far more important that we tackle the underlying issues and root causes of alcohol-related crime.

“Since 2014 my office has invested more than £800,000 a year into the Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service to deliver support to offenders where drug and alcohol misuse are the cause of their behaviour. This high level of investment demonstrates how seriously we take the problem, and how committed we are to being part of the solution.

“Support workers are based within the custody suites at Ystrad Mynach and Newport police stations, and also within Newport Magistrates Court. This allows us to offer offenders the support they need at the earliest opportunity.

“By addressing the alcohol issues, and in many cases working with mental health professionals to examine their underlying causes, we are offering people an alternative pathway in life and preventing crime within communities.”