October 1, 2011
Ministers are preparing for a massive expansion in electronic tagging of offenders, with private security companies being invited to bid for more than Â£1bn worth of contracts next month.
The use of electronic tagging has grown rapidly since it was first used in 1999 by courts in England and Wales to enforce curfews. Now more than 20,000 offenders are monitored by private security firms on any given day.
The current eight-year contracts, which are held by G4S and Serco electronic monitoring services, are due to end shortly. The Ministry of Justice says more than 30 companies have expressed an interest in competing for the new contracts when bids are invited this October.