Voiceprint tracking of offenders
Paul Donovan has been a commentator on Catholic issues for a number of years, contributing to the Tablet, Universe, Church Times and CNN among others. Until recently, he wrote a weekly column for the Universe focusing on social justice issues. www.paulfdonovan.blogspot.com
Sunday 14 June 1998
The scheme, which becomes operational tomorrow and will be controlled by the private security firm Group Four, could replace electronic tagging in the UK if it proves successful.
In the US, voiceprints have proved a popular way of tracking offenders released back into the community, with 19 states now using the technology. In California, all sex offenders released on licence are tracked using voiceprint technology.
The system, being piloted in Kent, is produced by the Dallas-based company The Voicetrack Corporation and involves the offender speaking over the telephone to register their voiceprint in a central computer. The offender is then issued with a dedicated BT pager.
At optimum times, such as when children are coming out of schools, the pager is used to contact the offender. They receive a message including a freephone number that must be dialled within ten minutes. It is the brief telephone contact then made that enables the system controller to identify and locate the caller.
A voiceprint is similar to a fingerprint in terms of the accuracy of identification with proponents claiming a 98 per cent success rate.
The National Association of Probation Officers is concerned that the project is another attempt to privatise the penal system. Harry Fletcher, its assistant general secretary, said: "This scheme is a form of privatisation and the real way of ensuring public safety is to properly fund the probation service, not to seek to plug the gaps with new technology."
A spokesman for the Home Office said: "This scheme is one of a number of things piloted from time to time."
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
A very timely Great Train Robbery and a frantic 24 Hours in A&E among the highlights
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Colin Farrell reveals ‘affair’ with Elizabeth Taylor: 'She was my last romantic relationship'
Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Peter O'Toole: Tales of the late film icon
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 4 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- 5 Status: Wet - Woman walks off a pier while checking Facebook on her phone
- < Previous
- Next >
£70000 - £120000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Currently recruiting for in...
£68000 - £83000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Real Estate Finance Lawyer 2...
£89000 - £96000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Looking for clear career pro...
£65000 - £77000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Corporate Tax Lawyer 1-3 yea...