Tagging scheme to be extended

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The Independent Online
Trials of electronic tags for criminals are to be extended for a third time because the courts have refused to place enough offenders under "house arrest". Since the tags were launched in July 1995, only 325 offenders have faced a curfew order monitored by electronic tags, which is far less that officials had predicted.

The Home Office is understood to be preparing to extend the trials, currently held in Reading, Norfolk, and Manchester, for a further year and expand the catchment areas. Harry Fletcher, of the National Association of Probation Officers, said the tagging experiment had been a catalogue of failures. "They are now looking to tag fine defaulters and others for whom it will serve no purpose," he said.

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