Urgent probe launched into allegations convicts bribed Government-contracted staff to fit ankle tags loosely

It is alleged Capita workers were paid up to £400 at time to help at least 32 criminals 

Rebecca Flood
Saturday 04 February 2017 20:42
GPS tracking anklet
GPS tracking anklet

An urgent investigation is underway into allegations criminals paid thousands to Government-contracted staff to fit their electronic tags loosely enough to be removed at will.

Scotland Yard confirmed it had launched a probe following allegations Capita, the company chosen by the government to run its Electronic Monitoring Service (EMS), accepted bribes from convicts.

It is claimed workers were paid to fit the ankle trackers loosely, allowing offenders to circumvent their court-imposed curfews by slipping off their tags.

Staff were allegedly paid up to £400 a time to help at least 32 criminals. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it was “urgently” investigating the claims.

According to The Sun, scam was rumbled when an offender was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder when he was supposed to be at home under curfew.

In the wake of the claims the Metropolitan Police arrested 14 people in connection with the investigation.

Among them are thought to be 11 convicts and former and current staff members of the EMS.

The Met said the investigation was focused on the London borough of Newham.

“Police had become aware that offender monitoring equipment was being used inappropriately," a spokesperson said.

A 45-year-old man from Barking and a 57-year-old woman from Romford, both EMS employees, were arrested last month on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

And a 45-year-old man from Romford, a former EMS staff member, was also arrested on the same charge as well as theft of tagging equipment.

A spokesman for the EMS said: “We have a zero tolerance policy against any of our employees who act in any way to undermine the robustness of the electronic monitoring service.

“The small number of employees being investigated regarding this isolated issue were swiftly taken off duties and we are closely co-operating with the Metropolitan Police Service.”

Capita was awarded the £400 million contract to fit the tags in 2014, after fellow security firms G4S and Serco become embroiled in an overcharging scandal which led them to repay the Government nearly £180 million.

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