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

Trustee won’t delay Downtown Activity Centre sale

Salmon Arm city council had asked for an extension, bid process will run until July 6

Application proceeds for ALR exclusion

City council opted not to take the advice of its Agricultural Advisory… Continue reading

Interior Health launches water advisory map

Unique program to connect residents to drinking water advisories

Update: Stolen pickup truck still at large after evading police

RCMP are looking for a black late 1990s Ford 4x4 pickup with no licence plates

Okanagan Regional Library names new CEO

Don Nettleton, who has been with ORL for 24 years, takes over from Stephanie Hall

SilverStar reaches new heights with gondola

Vernon ski resort installing new feature, with opening date set for July 7

High water forces closure of a boat launch on Shuswap Lake

Boat launch on Eagle Bay Road shut down, two others in Sorrento remain open

Column: A tender portrait of school life

By Joanne Sargent, Observer contributor I would venture to say that most… Continue reading

Sorrento chiropractors support food bank

For the third year in a row, the Sorrento Chiropractic Wellness Centre… Continue reading

From the archives of the Observer

1908 A federal law forbidding the use of cigarettes by youths under… Continue reading

Business spotlight: Three medals awarded to Sunnybrae Vineyards and Winery

By Leah Blain, Observer contributor Three medals awarded to Sunnybrae Vineyards &… Continue reading

Salmon Arm soccer players take second in Arizona tournament

European Football School team nearly sweeps invitational competition

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

Most Read