HC Deb 18 December 1996 vol 287 cc946-7
17. Mr. Brazier

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received on the effectiveness of electronic tagging for convicted offenders. [8148]

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

Representations on this matter were made by 18 of those who responded to our "Crime and Punishment" White Paper, and we are still receiving representations in connection with our consultation paper on electronic monitoring of young offenders.

Mr. Brazier

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. Does he agree that any assessment of the usefulness of tagging in all parts of the United Kingdom must be based not on considerations of the civil liberties of the convicted offenders but on its effectiveness in preventing future crime and hence its impact on the community and especially on the victims of the crimes?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I certainly agree with my hon. Friend. Punishment and deterrence are importance. This is a useful disposal. Under the English pilot schemes, curfew orders have been made—most often for burglary, theft, driving while disqualified, possession of drugs and some violent offences. The initial findings are that the pilot schemes have been successful. We believe that this will be a useful disposal for the courts—to ensure, for instance, that football hooligans are restricted to certain areas.