A PROJECT which used ‘sobriety tags’ to tackle alcohol-fuelled crime across North Yorkshire has been a success, according to a report by the National Centre for Social Research.

The scheme, part-funded by Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner, used the latest alcohol monitoring technology, also known as ‘sobriety tags’, to tackle alcohol associated offending.

The project also took place in Humberside and Lincolnshire.

Mrs Mulligan said: “This has proved to be a successful pilot, with many lessons learned along the way. We know alcohol can play a key part in offending for some people, and this appears to have been a positive intervention - reducing offending markedly among those wearing tags. This appears to have been particularly true of domestic violence incidents, something which I hugely welcome given my commitment to reduce violence against women and girls.

“There were areas where the pilot was less successful, with simply not enough tags being used in North Yorkshire compared to elsewhere. If we are to roll this programme out in the longer term we would need to learn those lessons and make sure we improved our partnership working, making it clear to everyone involved the benefits these tags can bring. “These tags have the opportunity to make North Yorkshire a safer place, but there is more work to do and I look forward to seeing the further analysis.”

The Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement pilot was carried out for two years from June 2017 until the sentencing powers ended in April 2019.

Magistrates’ and crown courts were able to require offenders to wear the tags by executing an Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) as part of community or suspended sentence imposed on those who commit crimes while under the influence of alcohol.

The ankle bracelets, which detect alcohol levels, alerted the authorities when the wearer had breached the abstinence order and the offender was returned to court.

The review of the project carried out by the National Centre for Social Research noted that:

• Over the course of the pilot, 226 individuals were issued the AAMR order. These individuals were predominantly white (98 per cent) and male (88 per cent). Almost all (96 per cent) wearers were under 50-years-old.

• More than half (52 per cent) of wearers were sentenced in Lincolnshire, one-third (33 per cent) in Humberside and 13 per cent in North Yorkshire at the time of receiving the AAMR order.

• Alcohol is a significant factor in offending in the pilot areas, particularly in domestic violence cases and 31 per cent of wearers were convicted of a domestic violence offence.

• Compliance with the AAMR was high - 94 per cent successfully completed the requirement and 97.4 per cent of all the days monitored were free of alcohol.