Offenders alcohol abstinence monitoring pilot scheme ‘returned positive results’

A pilot scheme requiring offenders to abstain from alcohol and wear an alcohol monitoring tag returned positive results, according to an initial report by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 12:02 am
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter.
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter.

The Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire (HLNY) Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) pilot was carried out for two years from June 2017 until the sentencing powers ended in April 2019.

It was implemented by a partnership including the Offices of the Police and Crime Commissioners for Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.

Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company had responsibility for managing the scheme with representation from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service and the Ministry of Justice.

Offenders were required to wear an electronic tag around their ankle which accurately detects the presence of alcohol in an individual’s system and alerts probation services of any non-compliance with the alcohol ban, in the event of which the requirement could be enforced and the offender returned to court.

Over the course of the pilot, 226 individuals were issued the AAMR order.

These individuals were predominantly white (98%) and male (88%). Almost all (96%) wearers were under 50 years old.

Half (52%) of wearers were sentenced in Lincolnshire, one-third (33%) in Humberside and 13% in North Yorkshire at the time of receiving the AAMR order.

An initial process evaluation report by NatCen has been published and the partnership has also commissioned them to undertake a full outcomes evaluation of the pilot and they will report back later this year. Its aim is to assess whether and to what extent the pilot positively affects offenders’ behaviour, including reduced reoffending rates.

Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said: “Reoffending rates are much higher for people where alcohol plays a role in the offence. As this pilot scheme has indicated, there is a likelihood we can reduce the victims of crime in the future, particularly victims of domestic abuse.

“The period in which the offender is tagged will give rehabilitation agencies a real opportunity to work with the individual and get them to recognise and change their behaviour, hopefully for good. I would like to see these orders available nationally as a standard feature of the Criminal Justice System.”