Tagging plan for asylum seekers
Some asylum seekers in Scotland are to be electronically tagged in a new scheme being piloted by the UK Government in the coming months.
BBC/July 8, 2004
The project will work by voice verification and use satellites to track people.
The Home Office said it would also apply to people who have been refused entry at ports or who are found to be working illegally.
The scheme, also running in England and Wales, is intended for adults only.
Supporters believe tagging is a better alternative to keeping people in immigration centres such as Dungavel in Lanarkshire.
Former inspector of prisons in Scotland, Clive Fairweather, told BBC Radio's Newsdrive programme: "Certainly I think you are better in some cases on some form of electronic tagging than you are being detained.
"If you've done nothing wrong I don't see what there is to fear from some discreet sort of anklet."
But human rights campaigners have warned it could victimise immigrants who have committed no crime.
John Scott, from the Scottish Human Rights Centre, said: "The Home Office seems to be suggesting, every asylum seeker runs the risk of being tagged, and therefore treated like a criminal.
"Because it's only criminals in this country that are tagged otherwise, then I completely object to the idea of a tag as some sort of deterrent for people coming to this country for asylum."
Asylum seekers or anyone liable to detention under Immigration and Asylum Act powers could see themselves wearing an electronic tag from the autumn.