Number: E 0108 Date Published: 3 November 2021 Version 4 – November 2021
1.0 Summary of Changes
On its 2 yearly review, this procedure has been updated as follows:
Clarrification as to different forms of monitoring added at 2.0;
Additions made to 3.1.5;
Amended 3.1.6 to include new types of GPS monitoring (ACEM);
References to IOM Team reworded to refer to Priority Offender Team (POT);
Additions to outline changes around MoJ GPS monitoring;
Refrences to DIU updated to IB (Intel Bureau);
References to Capita amended to EMS;
Owner and author details updated and now comes under the ownership of LPSU instead of Criminal Justice.
2.0 What this Procedure is about
This procedure explains the various types of electronic monitoring in use, the information supplied to Essex Police, the information that is available to assist officers in reducing crime, and the actions expected of Essex Police staff in relation to the use of the equipment.
Electronic monitoring can be classified as:
Radio Frequency and GPS tagging which is used by courts and on release from custodial sentences to ensure an offender complies with a curfew at an address;
Voluntary GPS tagging administered by Essex Police;
Mandatory Ministry of Justice (MOJ) GPS tagging on licence upon release from prison.
Electronic monitoring or “tagging” works by way of a transmitter and monitoring unit installed in a subject's home. The transmitter is a tag securely fitted to the subject's ankle or wrist and the monitoring unit is monitored via the mobile phone network. The subject is then monitored to ensure they adhere to the restrictions of their particular curfew order by a private company. Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS) is responsible for the management of Ministry of Justice (MOJ) tags within our force area. The Buddi Intelligence Co-ordinator is responsible for managing Essex Police tags and the service is provided by Buddi Ltd.
Electronic monitoring can be used by the courts as:
An alternative to a custodial sentence;
To strengthen the public protection element of a community-based sentence;
As a condition of bail in support of a curfew for all offenders 12 years and above.
This removes the requirement of the police to make regular curfew checks at addresses for offenders on court bail.
It can also be used by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS):
For the monitoring of prisoners who qualify for supervised early release programmes.
This service supports and monitors prisoners making the transition back into the community.
In the majority of cases application of a tag will include curfew conditions. The monitoring will ensure that compliance with the curfew can be checked and, if a curfew is breached, that an alert is sent to the responsible agency.
It is important to remember that police only have a power of arrest for a breach of curfew if that curfew has been imposed by the court as part of Bail conditions. Electronic Monitoring is also used within Essex Police in the form of the ‘Buddi tag’ and ‘Buddi clip’. These are managed as voluntary schemes Op Olive is a voluntary scheme whereby subjects voluntarily wear a GPS tag in order to change their behavior and reduce offending.
Op Harrier is the scheme whereby vulnerable persons with Alzheimer’s and Dementia carry a GPS monitoring clip (not a tag) in their best interests where they have a history of going missing and being exposed to a risk of harm. Op Harrier is subject to a separate SOP managed by the Buddi Intelligence Co-ordinator with social care and the missing person prevention team.
Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
3.1 Types of Monitoring
3.1.1 Adult Sentence
If a curfew order is given by a court as part of the sentence to an adult the defendant will be tagged by Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS). The Criminal Justice Command (CJC) is responsible for placing the details of the sentence onto the Police National Computer (PNC). The Probation Service is responsible for processing any breach of curfew and it will be the Probation Service who must obtain the warrant or summons.
3.1.2 Juvenile Sentence
If a court order (Youth Rehabilitation Orders or Curfew) is given by a court as part of the sentence to a juvenile the defendant will be tagged by EMS. The PNC Department is responsible for placing the details of the order onto the PNC. The Youth Offending Team (YOT) is responsible for processing any breach of curfew and it will be the YOT who must obtain the warrant or summons.
3.1.3 Bail Curfew
A curfew order can be given by a court as part of the bail conditions. The defendant will be tagged by EMS. Any breach of the bail curfew will be sent to the Force Control Room (FCR) in the first instance for allocation.
3.1.4 Home Detention Curfew (HDC)
The HDC scheme allows prisoners 18 years and over serving sentences of three months or more but less than four years to spend up to the last four and a half months of their custodial sentence on a home curfew, enforced by electronic monitoring. The decision to recall an offender to prison who is serving their sentence on HDC is made by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Public Protection Case Work Section (PPCS). EMS notifies PPCS of any curfew breach direct, thereafter, PPCS initiate action to recall the subject.
3.1.5 Voluntary Electronic Monitoring Tracker
The Electronic monitoring tag (currently the Buddi tag) can also be used on a voluntary scheme whereby the subject agrees to wear the electronic tag to reduce re-offending. In Essex this is referred to as Op Olive. The tag is designed to be worn securely around the ankle and provides GPS location data at regular intervals. The wearer is monitored by an appointed manager from the appropriate Policing department to monitor whether the wearer offends within the Essex Police force area or across borders.
The system supports and monitors offenders who want to stop re-offending. The use of the Buddi system is strictly for monitoring purposes regarding the wearer’s movements and to prove/disprove their involvement in an alleged offence. Voluntary GPS tags cannot be used as a condition of bail, but in some circumstances a court may agree the use of GPS tags as part of a court order e.g., Criminal Behaviour Order or Sexual Harm Prevention Order for a limited time as a condition to prevent offending.
The use of the platform CAN NOT be used as a surveillance tactic unless it is necessary to prevent risk of serious harm or the wearer is suspected/in the process of committing a crime.
All IOM subjects will be managed and monitored by the Priority Offender Team (POT).
All other subjects will be managed and monitored by the nominated manager in the relevant department and command. The management and response to any notifications or alerts will be the responsibility of the nominated manager. During business hours of (08.00 – 16.00) the Buddi Intelligence Coordinator will assist with any service issues or alerts that require a review. It is not the Coordinator’s role to manage the alerts however they will have an overview of all Buddi wearers and will contact the manager if a concern is identified with a wearer.
Buddi Ltd has a Customer Service line which is available 7 days a week.
3.1.6 MOJ Electronic Monitoring – Global Positioning System (GPS)
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has introduced the Electronic Monitoring (EM) programme across England & Wales which is managed by EMS. This programme continues to grow and expand.
The EM Programme enhances the existing curfew tag provision and introduced GPS location monitoring capability.
Day to day functions carried out by EMS;
Robust evidential integrity (e.g., confirming exclusion zone breach);
Plug-in charger and portable charger provided;
Battery will last 2 days on full charge;
Subject required to charge for an hour each day;
Subject called if battery reaches 20%;
Tag vibrates and illuminates if battery reaches 10%.
Under the Acquisitive Crime Electronic Monitoring project, offenders sentenced to twelve months or more in custody for a neighbourhood crime offence (burglary, robbery, vehicle crime) may be released on licence with a condition to wear a GPS tag for up to twelve months.
Within Essex Police, the location and times of acquisitive crime offences are shared with the MOJ daily under a data sharing agreement. This data is assessed against the whereabouts of MOJ monitored offenders and any qualified ‘hits’ are communicated back to Essex Police.
Within office hours (Monday-Friday 0800 -16:00) any hits are reviewed by the Buddi Intelligence Co-ordinator and notification is sent to the OIC. Outside of these hours, at a weekend, hits are communicated to the FCR where they will be reviewed, and notification sent to the appropriate investigating command.
18.104.22.168 How Location Monitoring Be Used?
Investigations – Police can give EMS a location and a time frame and they will tell us if any tags were in that area during that timeframe;
View and overlay data which may assist in acquisitive crime investigations;
Possibility to conduct live surveillance on a target wearing a tag (RIPA);
Analytical work which could show tagged people associating together or show hotspot areas/places frequented for tagged people.
To improve the range of subject monitoring, including the ability for exclusion monitoring;
To monitor a subject’s attendance at a particular activity (e.g. a work or education programme);
A combination of trail monitoring, exclusion zones and curfew (different times can be used).
3.2 Police Actions
3.2.1 Bail Curfew and Electronic Monitoring – Global Positioning System (GPS)
This is available as an alternative option to remand in custody. An officer seeking to implement a bail curfew and/or Electronic Monitoring – Global Positioning System (GPS) should discuss the issues with the Custody Officer. It is obtained via a remand hearing following the submission of a remand file and will be for a period of not less than two days. Officers should ensure they submit an MG7 specifying any conditions subject of the bail curfew including the following:
The defendant co-operates with the arrangements for installing the equipment;
The defendant presents themselves to any police officer calling at the address during the period of curfew.
Officers should indicate on the MG7 whether the subject would be suitable for GPS Electronic monitoring or not with a suitable.
Where exclusion or inclusion zone(s) are required to be monitored by GPS electronic monitoring officers should include details of the exclusion or inclusion area, with time is appropriate, on the MG7.
Where a breach of bail curfew is identified, EMS will inform FCR by email, which will include a statement supporting the breach of curfew. Following receipt FCR will create a STORM incident and allocate an officer to investigate.
Where further investigation is required the police officer will be responsible for gathering the evidence. In the event the offender claims the equipment is not working properly the police will contact EMS for further information to ascertain if there is any merit in the offender’s claim.
Where, following the investigation, the officer feels there is sufficient evidence to arrest for breach of bail curfew this should be completed as soon as possible.
Where this cannot be achieved all relevant information must be forwarded to Intelligence Bureau (IB) before the officer completes their tour of duty in order that a properly structured approach can be taken through the Local Tasking process.
3.2.2 HDC Recall
The decision to recall an offender to prison who is serving their sentence on HDC is made by the National Offender Management (NOMs) Public Protection Case Work Section of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). Where a breach of a Home Detention Curfew occurs EMS will notify PPCS direct. The PPCS will examine the circumstances and determine the priority status of the recall.
Where a recall is required PPCS will notify IB Prison Liaison or the Intelligence Support Bureau if the request is outside normal officer hours. All recalls must be actioned through FCR and recorded as a STORM incident for allocation.
Following the arrest, the detainee will be taken to the nearest custody suite. A copy of the recall papers will be forwarded to the custody suite either by IB or FCR upon receipt from PPCS. Contact will be made with appointed custody prisoner transport company to arrange transportation to the relevant prison. The arresting officer will be responsible for the submission of an intelligence report on the arrest.
3.2.3 New EMS Starts
Each Monday IB receives an email from EMS relating to all those offenders who had a new order start the previous week. Upon receipt of the list, Essex Police will inform EMS if any of the offenders named on the list are PPO and/or MAPPA. This information is uploaded onto the Prisoner Intelligence Notification System (PINS) and will enable IB to gain accurate information concerning curfew conditions.
3.2.4 Violation Intelligence Report
A weekly report is sent to IB, which documents all violations that have occurred across the county for those offenders who are marked as PPO and/or MAPPA.
Details are forwarded to IB for reference.
3.2.5 Compliance Report
An information report can be obtained from the monitoring company providing officers with information by which they can establish if the offender was at the place of curfew during a particular time. EMS Guidance Notes.
Officers requesting an information report must submit an External Agency Information Request Form EMS Application Form. Subject to authorisation the information report will be emailed within 24 hours direct to the requesting officer. Contact telephone and Fax numbers are on the form.
3.2.6 Voluntary Electronic Monitoring Tracker
The manager will be given access to the Buddi system by the Buddi Coordinator and appropriate training will be given. The Coordinator will enter the wearer’s details on to the Buddi system and set up any inclusion/exclusion zones.
It is the responsibility of the manager to monitor the Buddi system daily and respond appropriately to any unusual behavior patterns or noncompliance of an imposed curfew. In the absence of the manager a trained SPOC will need to be available to monitor the wearer.
When the wearer fails to charge the tracker, the system will send a text message to the wearer and manager notifying them that the tracker needs to be charged. It is the responsibility of the manager to make contact with the wearer to check the equipment is in working order and reinforce the conditions of wearing a tracker.
Where a subject has been identified as having committed a crime it is the managers responsibility to review the alert and assess whether a police response is required.
3.3 Custody Processes
A detainee wearing an electronic monitor may be received in custody for a number of differing reasons:
Arrested for breach of bail curfew;
Arrested as part of an HDC recall;
Arrested as a result of a Failure to Appear (FTA) warrant in connection with an adult or juvenile sentence;
Arrested for an offence unconnected with the application of the tag;
Returning on previous police bail as part of an unconnected offence. This is particularly important if the custody period is likely to encroach into the curfew period.
The monitoring company should be contacted and informed of the detainee’s presence in custody using the contact number found on the outer cover. The monitoring company should be asked whether they require the removal of the tag.
If removal is requested the tag may be cut from the detainee using a pair of scissors and retained within custody for collection by the monitoring company.
The final decision must remain with the custody sergeant and this will be dependent on the risk assessment of the detainee and the circumstances of the detention. If the risk assessment is low, and it is likely that the detainee will be released at the conclusion of the process, then the tag may be left on.
Any attempt to loosen or remove the tag will be notified to the monitoring company without the monitoring company. Where this information is required to assist the risk assessment process contact should be made with the relevant monitoring company to ascertain whether any previous attempts have been recorded.
Where a detainee has been arrested for a separate offence and is wearing a tag the custody sergeant should take into account the full circumstances surrounding the original offences when considering whether or not to grant bail.
On occasions the monitoring company will request that police attend and remove the transmitting unit installed at the detainee’s home address. Officers are reminded that there is no power to gain entry for the purposes of recovery of the unit and, unless access is being gained under separate legislation, the police cannot comply with that request made from the monitoring company.
3.3.1 Custody Process – Buddi Tracker
When a wearer is detained in custody the Custody Sergeant MUST contact the Buddi Coordinator who will notify the manager to review.
The tracker should be removed in custody if the wearer has been remanded in custody, recalled to prison or the wearer states they want the tracker removed and their manager is unavailable.
If a wearer is remanded in police custody and due to appear at Court the following day the Buddi Coordinator must be notified so arrangements can be made to have the key available at Court. At no time should the wearer still be wearing a Buddi Tracker if they are remanded to prison.
OUT OF HOURS ACCESS - All Custody Sergeants have been trained to remove the Buddi tracker and have access to a key for their LPA. If a Custody sergeant removes a tracker the Buddi Coordinator must be notified immediately. Buddi Tracker removal keys are located in each designated custody police station and with the Buddi Intelligence Co-ordinator.
3.4 Criminal Damage to EMS Property
If a home monitoring unit or tag are damaged a signal will be received by EMS. EMS staff will attend the address and confirm the extent of the damage. If confirmed as an offence, the matter may be reported to FCR to be dealt with as a criminal damage.
3.4.1 Criminal Damage to Buddi Equipment
When a Buddi tracker or associated equipment is damaged by the wearer, the manager must report it immediately to the Buddi Coordinator. The LPSU Inspector will be notified and review the circumstances. If damage is confirmed as an offence, the matter will be dealt with as a criminal damage.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – October 2021
5.0 Risk Assessment
There are none applicable to this procedure.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Health & Safety
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be monitored by or on behalf of the Head of the Local Policing Support Unit every 2 years.
8.0 Governing Force policy.
Related Force policies or related procedures
E 0100 Policy - Custody
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g., legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)
Home Office Circulars 31/98 of 27 July 1998; 51/98 of 21 December 1998 and 1/99 of 14 January 1999 refer;