Letter: Tags do help to prevent crime

Sir: There would have been no need for Stephen Shaw and Paul Cavadino to speculate (letters, 12 November) on the likely effect of monitoring a home curfew order on young offenders with the electronic tag, had they looked to the evidence.

The crime-reducing effect on offenders aged 10-14, for instance, is impressive. A study from Allen County, Indiana, shows a success rate of better than nine in 10 in the sensible use of the electronic monitor on home curfews covering a 60- to 120-day span.

Your correspondents ask for the "strengthening of bail support and intensive supervision" and for a "back-up to social work intervention". This is precisely what the tag will do, if intelligently applied by courts with the co-operation of probation workers.

Behavioural changes induced by the tag have already saved many a young offender from a life of crime and imprisonment as an adult.

TOM STACEY

Director, Offender's Tag Association

London W8

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