Abu Dhabi: An electronic monitoring system has allowed more than 160 minor offenders to be detained at their homes in Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi Police said the e-tagging home confinement system, facilitated by wearable devices, had been used for 163 offenders over the last year, including 119 in the capital, 30 in Al Ain and 14 in Al Dhafra.
The home confinement system was launched by the Abu Dhabi Police, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, as an alternative to traditional imprisonment. Offenders don an electronic anklet that monitors their whereabouts, and ensures that they adhere to the terms of imprisonment. “The electronically-monitored imprisonment system is a humanitarian alternative for a detention or jail term, and it uses wearable devices that meet all health, legal and humanitarian requirements based on international standards,” the Abu Dhabi Police announced.
The system is currently being used for offenders during pretrial detention. The Police said it is a reform that ensures incarceration without having a negative impact on offenders and their families. At its launch in 2020, officials had said it would allow offenders to continue working if they were the primary breadwinners, or to continue their education if they were students.
What is an electronic tag?
It is a device fitted around a convict’s ankle that allows police officials to monitor the offender’s movements and ensure compliance with specific conditions and restrictions. The police operations room monitors the tags round the clock. An officer is also assigned to be on call to provide assistance if required.
The individual is not allowed to remove the tag, and is instructed on its use by the Police. Penalties, including new imprisonment terms, are applicable on convicts who try flee, or damage or tamper with the tagging device.
Who is eligible?
Certain groups of offenders are eligible for the system regardless of nationality, including breadwinners, parents, individuals who have defaulted on bank loans and served six months in jail, international athletes, some drug offenders and traffic violations. An offender or a family member can request for the e-tagged home confinement, which is decided upon by the courts.