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British innovations keeping people safe

Our Managing Director for monitoring technologies, David Byrne, on British-designed technology keeping people safe around the world
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The success of electronic monitoring equipment designed and made in Britain is a real accomplishment and shows what can be achieved when the UK is an early adopter of new technology.

Electronically monitored curfew orders have been used throughout the UK criminal justice system since the late 1990s as a community service condition, as a condition of release from prison, or in conjunction with bail imposed by the court. As one of the first countries to use the technology, we’ve built up considerable expertise and been at the forefront of technological innovations - including the move from devices which work on a radio frequency to those using the very latest satellite-enabled Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.  

With GPS we can now ensure that as well as obeying curfews, offenders are monitored and can be intercepted when they enter specific areas they have been barred from by the courts.  At one end of the risk spectrum, our technology is used to closely monitor terrorist suspects or sex offenders so that we can monitor their proximity to significant public buildings or schools for example.  At the other, the technology is used by law enforcement agencies to monitor, track and intercept people who regularly cause disturbances in busy town centres.  

In France – which has the largest active GPS monitoring programme in the world – we are working with the Ministry of Justice to extend the GPS application into areas such as victim protection.  This means that victims can also choose to use a device so that offenders’ proximity to them can be monitored and both parties alerted and warned, which can be especially powerful in cases of domestic abuse or stalking and harassment.      

These innovations can only be good for victims, society and the offenders themselves.  The technology was designed, developed and built in the UK and our own Leicester-based business exports the technology to 17 countries around the world. We supply equipment to the worlds largest electronic monitoring programmes and at any moment, 40,000 offenders around the world are monitored using our technology.  

Much of this work has been the product of agencies working together.  We’ve worked closely with police services to identify exactly what technology law enforcement agencies need and partnered with the Centre for Applied Science and Technology at the UK Home Office to subject our devices to the most rigorous independent efforts to tamper, break or disrupt the technology so that we know that offenders will be monitored safely and securely.  We’ll continue to innovate and harness the very latest technology so that British-designed and built equipment supports law enforcement agencies around the world to keep people safe.