More than 130 Abu Dhabi convicts fitted with electronic tags, police say

Abu Dhabi Police said it has used the monitoring technology since 2018

More than 130 convicts have been fitted with electronic tags by Abu Dhabi Police. 
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More than 130 convicts have been fitted with electronic tagging devices in Abu Dhabi since 2018, it has been revealed.

Abu Dhabi Police said the monitoring technology was used in 133 criminal cases, including drug offences, bounced cheques and traffic violations, as an alternative to prison, to allow for early release from jail and for those who are detained to prevent them fleeing the country.

Electronic tags are already common in many countries across the world and are usually traditionally placed on a person's ankle.

Police said they were being introduced to "reintegrate" offenders into society, allowing people who have committed relatively minor crimes to continue to support their family and keep up education and employment.

"The use of technology in the implementation of judicial rulings is a new method used by Abu Dhabi Police to keep abreast of the era of modernisation and development," said Brigadier Ahmad Saif bin Zaytoun Al Muhairi, of Abu Dhabi Police.

"This method will help convicts to reintegrate into society and reduce reccurrence of crimes."

Police said that if an electronic tag was tampered with, the police operations room would automatically be notified.

The UAE is understood to be one of the first Arab nations to introduce tagging. Algeria began tagging some  prisoners in 2017.

An initial bill assessing the use of electronic tagging across the Emirates was passed by the Federal National Council last year and was reviewed again on Monday by senior government officials.

“The electronic monitoring device is capable of pinning the geographical location of the person wearing it, helping criminal enforcement to keep track of a suspect under investigation, an accused on trial or a convict serving a sentence or community service,” the Ministerial Development Council said.

“This step comes in line with modern penal principles of the UAE and it enhances the integration of convicts back into society.”