Children could have to wear ankle monitors to disrupt county lines drug gangs, says Conservative minister


hildren could have to wear ankle tags which monitor their movements 24 hours a day in a bid to disrupt country lines drug gangs, a Home Office minister said on Monday.

Crime and policing minister Kit Malthouse said there was a “lot more” the Government can do to “innovate with tagging”.

His remarks came after the Conservative London assembly member Shaun Bailey suggested tagging more children to help combat gangs.

During a panel discussion at the Conservative Party conference, Mr Bailey said he was pressing the Home Office to implement the policy because it would “disrupt the privacy” of criminals and their illegal activity.

Mr Malthouse added that the 24 hour monitoring would be a step towards protecting children at risk of becoming involved in county lines drug gangs.

Kit Malthouse chaired the panel discussion on county lines gangs

/ Evening Standard

“We’re rolling out GPS tagging for burglars, robbers and others who do inquisitive crime at the moment,” he said.

“That’s been done in six forces and done remarkably well. We’re expanding it shortly to another 13 forces and then hopefully to the rest of the country.

“I think [Mr Bailey] is absolutely right, there’s a lot more we can do to innovate with tagging for exactly that reason, because those either who need our protection or those who are going to promote crime need to know that we’re on their ankle 24 hours a day, that we know where they are.”

London has become a base for county lines gangs, who transport illegal drugs from one area of the country to another across police force and local authority boundaries.

Criminals in the capital have been targeting children’s homes and schools for excluded pupils to recruit vulnerable youngsters into the gangs, the Metropolitan Police has found.


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