Electronic monitoring laws passed

The Northern Territory Government has today passed amendments to allow police to use electronic monitoring on first time young offenders. 

The first phase of monitoring will be rolled out in Palmerston and Alice Springs. 

A government spokesman today said he believed Katherine police would have access to resources within a month but needed to confirm that.

The Katherine Times is still waiting on a formal response. 

A spokeswoman for Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Natasha Fyles said it was up to the police to decide which communities would be included in phase one.

“As far as the Attorney General’s department was concerned they were involved with changing bail laws, it is up to the police minister and police to decide how it is rolled out,” the spokeswoman said. 

Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Natasha Fyles said every Territorian has the right to feel safe and expect their homes, business and property.

“Expanding the use of electronic monitoring bracelets is an important resource that our police wanted – we have listened and taken decisive action,” 

“Too many offenders commit crimes while on bail - the expansion of electronic monitoring to Police bail will encourage compliance with bail requirements, particularly curfews, to stop people re-offending.”

Ms Fyles said the changes to the Bail Act will help break the cycle of crime that has been going on for too long and support other significant initiatives.

“We’ve listened to Territory victims talk about the impact of crime on their lives and we’ve taken action - introducing on urgency amendments to the Bail Act.

“These changes will give police the power to issue electronic monitoring orders on young offenders who are released on police bail after their first offence.

“Police spend significant resources ensuring people on police bail are complying with their orders so these increased powers will help them.”

Expanding the use of electronic monitoring means GPS data can be used to enforce bail conditions and stop people reoffending while on bail.

Ms Fyles said Police will receive alerts directly from the monitoring company if:

  • The strap is tampered with
  • The strap is absent from a designated zone at the start of a curfew
  • The strap leaves a designated zone during a curfew
  • If the strap enters an exclusion zone

“Used in conjunction with other support measures – including youth diversion and supported accommodation– electronic monitoring may act as a ‘circuit breaker’ stopping crime before it happens,” she said.