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GPS Proximity Device Launch

1st July 2015

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has funded a unique new pilot scheme that aims to reduce incidents of domestic abuse and potentially save victim’s lives.

The Domestic Abuse Perpetrator GPS Proximity Device Pilot is a voluntary scheme which uses technology to create alerts if a victim and perpetrator are in close proximity to each other to avoid them having actual contact.

The perpetrator is fitted with a securely attached ankle device and carries a GPS tracking unit handset to be taken with them whenever they leave their home.

The victim also carries a handset using the same GPS location technologies.

Fixed exclusion zones are set up around locations, such as the victim’s home, place of work, or child’s school which the perpetrator will be banned from entering.

Mobile exclusion zones are also set up around the victim in an effort to prevent an unwanted encounter with their perpetrator while on the move.

If the perpetrator enters any of the exclusion zones, this is picked up by a National Monitoring Centre which tracks the equipment. They can then raise the alarm with the force’s communications centres.

A call can be made to the victim, depending on the situation, so any risk of a confrontation or attack is minimised.

The zones can be used to support bail or restraining order conditions.

Social enterprise Gentoo take a holistic approach to tackling domestic abuse and will also be looking to make use of the equipment as part of their work in supporting perpetrators of domestic abuse to address  their abusive behaviour.

The equipment has been made possible following a successful bid by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird to the Police Innovation Fund.

Commissioner Baird said: “Protecting victims is a priority for me and I’m a lifelong campaigner for bringing an end to violence against women and girls.

“I have worked extensively to prevent sexual and domestic violence and made this one of the main strands of my Police and Crime Plan.

“Any new technology that can reduce these incidents is of course a welcome addition to traditional policing methods already used by our officers to protect and safeguard victims.

“I know the misery and suffering domestic abuse causes and the impact it has not only on the victim, but also on those around them, including any children.

“This pilot will not only bring down incidents of domestic violence but also has the potential to save lives.”

Detective Inspector Phil Bond, from Northumbria Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Department, added: “This equipment will be used on a voluntary basis following an agreement from both parties but will undoubtedly provide added safety for a victim who will receive early warnings of a possible meeting with their perpetrator.

“This new equipment alerts us to a potentially violent encounter between a couple and gives us additional options to safeguard victims.

“It may also be enough to stop a perpetrator even thinking of approaching a victim when they know their movements are being tracked, while steering them away from mobile exclusion zones they have unwittingly entered.”

Information and advice is available via the Northumbria Police website,