2 Apr 2019
The SNP has prevented convicted criminals who tamper with their electronic tag while under electronic monitoring conditions from being automatically charged with an additional offence.
The Scottish Conservatives tabled an amendment to the Management of Offenders Bill this morning that would make it an automatic offence for any offenders who cut off or tampered with their electronic tag.
This would apply regardless which form of licence conditions or community order that the electronic monitoring conditions are attached to.
The SNP refused to support this amendment, instead opting to apply a criminal offence only to those “unlawfully at large”, which does not cover all ten licence and disposal types listed in the Bill.
This issue of electronic tagging of offenders has been of significant public interest since James Wright stabbed Craig McClelland to death five months after removing his tag and breaching a home curfew last year.
Lastly, the Scottish Conservatives voted against the Scottish Labour Party amendments which changed the reference of ‘offender’ to ‘relevant person’.
Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary said;
“Any convicted criminal who tampers with or removes their electronic tag must automatically be charged with a criminal offence.
“The Scottish Conservative amendment to the bill would ensure there are no exceptions and no criminal falls through the cracks.
“For victims of criminals who would otherwise be in prison, this is surely the least we can do.
“We have recently experienced the tragic consequences of a criminal who has removed their electronic tag.
“Yet again, the SNP’s soft touch justice is failing victims.”
And on Scottish Labour’s amendment of ‘offender’ to ‘relevant person’, Liam Kerr said;
“This is the worst kind of meaningless nonsense.
“This bill should be about the management of convicted criminals not the politically correct crusade of the Scottish Labour Party.”