Attorney General Kim Wilson is keen to expand the option of tagging suspected offenders to all crimes. *AFP photo
Attorney General Kim Wilson is keen to expand the option of tagging suspected offenders to all crimes. *AFP photo

FRIDAY, DEC. 2: All suspected criminals could be tagged before they are charged under changes outlined by Attorney General Kim Wilson.

At present only individuals who have been arrested or charged with firearm offences can be tagged while on bail.

Now the Attorney General is keen to expand the option of tagging suspected offenders to all crimes. Convicted criminals on parole or probation could also be tagged under the new provisions.

The proposals are expected to be put before the House of Assembly as part of the Electronic Monitoring Act 2011.

That would mean a man or woman suspected of a sex offence could be tagged while on police bail.

Or a person who has been charged with a serious assault could be electronically monitored while he awaits trial.

 Ms Wilson said: “It has always been our intention to extend the use of electronic tags beyond just those suspected of firearms offences.

“It would allow police to keep tabs on suspected offenders while they are out on police bail and provide them with another useful tool. And it would also provide the courts with the ability to impose a tagging requirement as part of an individual’s bail conditions.

“Those individuals who were tagged while on police bail would obviously only be tagged until a decision was made as to whether they would be charged.

“That means that if a person was not charged he or she would have the tag removed while if that person was charged the decision would be left to the magistrate when he or she appeared at court.”

The penalties for interfering with an electronic tag are a fine of up to $4,000 and a maximum of four years imprisonment.