New electronic monitoring devices on the way for B.C. offenders

GPS ankle bracelets allow mapping of movements, alerts if a parolee enters a no-go zone

Ankle bracelet for electronic monitoring produced by UK firm Buddi Ltd.

Advanced new ankle bracelets to electronically monitor high-risk offenders after their release from prison will soon be in use in B.C.

The move comes more than a year after the arrest of paroled rapist Raymond Caissie in the murder of Surrey high school student Serena Vermeersch.

At the time, Justice Minister Suzanne Anton acknowledged the monitoring of high-risk offenders needed to be improved. The Crown did not request electronic monitoring of Caissie.

In July, the province selected UK-based provider Buddi Ltd. to provide new monitoring devices to track released offenders and ensure they don’t violate release conditions.

A justice ministry spokesperson said Buddi will now conduct staff training and equipment testing.

B.C. Corrections expects to begin using the new devices in mid-December.

The hybrid radio frequency/GPS system has better tracking and reporting capabilities, including an ability to program in no-go zones and map an offender’s travels. An alarm sounds at the central monitoring site if the offender enters a restricted area, and vibration alerts on the ankle bracelet remind the offender to comply.

According to Buddi, supervisors can use the data on offender movements to help them alter their behaviour to reduce the likelihood of reoffending. The real-time location data may also help police quickly rule out monitored offenders as suspects in a new crime.

The old ankle bracelet system, which relies on a telephone landline, could only verify that an offender was home and was mainly used to monitor house arrest and enforce curfews.

A report to the province late last year said electronic monitoring technology is rapidly improving and future innovations are likely to include smartphone apps that alert victims when an offender is in the vicinity, as well as built-in drug and alcohol screening.

Just Posted

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

OUR VIEW: Let’s find Surrey pellet-gun punks

Those who do have information – if they are also possessed of a conscience – must contact police

Coldest Night an event for warm hearts

Sources’ White Rock event one of 130 walkathons across Canada on Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read