PCs to expand ankle bracelet use

September 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

Give police tool to protect Nova Scotians

HALIFAX, NS – A Progressive Conservative government will make families and communities safer by expanding the use of ankle bracelets for offenders and people accused of dangerous crimes, PC leader Jamie Baillie said today.

Baillie made the announcement near the Central Nova Scotia Corrections Facility with former HRM police sergeant and PC candidate for Dartmouth North, Sean Brownlow.

“Too many people thumb their noses at their court ordered conditions,” Baillie said. “By increasing the use of ankle bracelets, a PC government will give authorities a powerful tool to make sure dangerous people are where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there.” 

Statistics show that there is a systemic disrespect of conditions of their release. Numbers from the Department of Justice show that 30 per cent of offenders breached their conditions in 2011. Hundreds of people charged with serious offences are in the community and are not being electronically monitored. It can take a year for someone charged with a crime to get to trial.

“The use of ankle bracelets will save valuable time when police discover an offender or person on bail has missed a curfew or breached another court ordered condition,” Brownlow said. “With this technology, police will know precisely where a person is instead of having to conduct a search.” 

Nova Scotia was the first jurisdiction in Canada to use GPS satellite technology to monitor offenders under conditional sentences in 2006. The program was cut back by the NDP in 2011.

Andre Denny, the man accused of murdering Raymond Taavel in April 2012, was on an unescorted pass from the East Coast Forensic Psychiatric Hospital after being found not criminally responsible of a crime. 

David James Leblanc, who was found guilty in June of kidnapping a 16-year-old and holding him against his will, was out on bail when he committed the crime. It took an expensive manhunt to find him and return him to Nova Scotia.

Neither man was wearing an ankle bracelet. 

“Nova Scotians deserve to feel safe and secure in their own homes and communities,” Baillie said. “Electronic monitoring of dangerous offenders acts as a crime prevention tool that will make would-be re-offenders think twice and save families the pain that comes with being a victim of crime.”

A PC government will invest $3.6 million over four years to increase the number of ankle bracelets to up to 500. Last September, the Department of Justice said 70 people were wearing ankle bracelets.