New concern for DV victims over GPS trackers

 

ANKLE bracelets meant for Queensland domestic violence offenders failed to detect a quarter of breaches during a simulated trial.

The Queensland Police report found GPS monitoring alone did not mitigate risk for high-risk perpetrators and was not a reliable substitute for other offender management tools.

Electronic monitoring of DV offenders was rolled out for Queensland parolees in 2017 and last year for defendants on bail.

They form part of a suite of tools used to monitor offenders.

A second report by Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety found electronic monitoring could help enhance victim safety but this was "limited and conditional".

The Palaszczuk Government said the reports backed it's multifaceted approach to electronic monitoring of DV perpetrators.

"The expert advice is clear - we need to use every tool we have to protect individuals and families from violence," Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Minister Di Farmer said.

"The reports are also clear that GPS monitoring is not a stand-alone solution, it needs to be part of a wider approach."

The Queensland Police evaluation chose seven simulated domestic violence scenarios across various locations to test the accuracy and reliability of GPS technology.

Thirty-five scenarios were carried out with just over half being successful in terms of alerting authorities to a breach.

However 26 per cent of scenarios failed, meaning no alert was activated following the breaching of a restriction or victim proximity zone.

Victim tracking devices were "particularly unreliable", failing to detect an approaching perpetrator in two thirds of cases.

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the two reports confirmed that GPS monitoring provides the authorities with another tool to help keep the community safe.

"As is current practice in Queensland, GPS monitoring is not a stand-alone strategy, but rather it is one part of a broader program of supervision," he said.

"The Queensland Police Service has undergone an exhaustive evaluation and procurement process to make sure its GPS trackers are the best available."