Liz Truss will demand answersover claims convicts paid security workers to loosely fit their tags
The minister will raise the allegations with Capita chiefs that offenders were able to slip off their tags in the wake of 14 people being arrested over the claims, according to sources.
Capita staff, who were paid to run the Government’s electronic monitoring service (EMS), were reportedly handed £400-a-time to help 32 offenders to evade their court-imposed curfews.
Three current and former EMS workers were among those being held by the Metropolitan Police and the Ministry of Justice says its “urgently” investigating the claims.
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We have a zero tolerance policy against our employees undermining the robustness of the tags
A series of arrests have been made, including a 46-year-old man who once worked on the EMS contract who arrested in Essex on January 3 on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, along with the theft of tagging equipment.
Two current Capita employees – a 45-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman who were also from Essex – were arrested on January 18 on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
And a further 11 people were arrested in connection with the probe during January.
An EMS spokesman 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.”
All the 14 suspects have been bailed until April as the Met’s inquiries take place.
The Metropolitan Police said the investigation was being centred on the London borough of Newham and the arrests have been made in connection with “offences involving the monitoring of offenders.”
Two Capita employees were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice
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The Metropolitan Police is centring the investigation on the London borough of Newham
Police started looking into the situation after one offender was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder when he was supposed to be under a curfew at home.
Electronic tags are usually securely attached to the ankles of offenders so they can’t be removed.
They send location data to a base unit in the offender’s home to ensure they are at home during curfew hours.
The base unit will send an alert to a monitoring centre if they leave the area.
An offender was arrested suspicion of attempted murder when he was supposed to be under a curfew
Capita was awarded a £400 million six-year contract for electronic tagging back in July 2014.
G4S and Serco, the security firms which were previously responsible for tagging criminals, lost the contract following allegations they overcharged the Ministry of Justice for monitoring offenders who were either dead, back in prison, had their tags removed or had quit the country.
The company was forced to repay the Government around £180million following the discovery.
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