HC Deb 17 March 1998 vol 308 cc559-60W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to extend to all courts the power to make curfew orders enforced by electronic monitoring. [35238]

Ms Quin

Curfew orders under section 12 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, enforced by electronic monitoring, are at present available to the courts as a penalty only in restricted pilot areas. It is our intention that these orders should in due course be made available to all courts in England and Wales.

There is a competitive tender for the provision of electronic monitoring services underway throughout England and Wales. The primary purpose of this service, which will be provided, as at present, by the private sector, is to provide electronic monitoring for prisoners under the home detention curfew scheme, under which selected short term prisoners may spend up to the last two months of their sentence under an electronically monitored curfew. I anticipate that the home detention curfew scheme will be operational in early 1999. However, contractors will also be required to provide electronic monitoring for other purposes, including curfew orders, should they be required. Roll out of curfew orders will follow the establishment of the home detention curfew scheme, according to a timetable to be discussed with those concerned and as resources allow.