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Last Updated: Friday, 18 February, 2005, 05:49 GMT
Curfews 'don't stop reoffending'
Electronic tag
Many curfews require offenders to wear an electronic tag
Curfews are the least effective form of punishment at preventing reoffending, Home Office figures suggest.

Overall, 36.9% of the 38,257 juveniles convicted in the first quarter of 2003 re-offended within a year.

But the Home Office said over 75% of the 777 offenders aged 10 to 17 placed under curfew orders in England and Wales were reconvicted, within a year.

Overall reconviction levels had fallen - especially among offenders who were fined - the Home Office said.

In recent years curfew orders have been increasingly used by the courts as an alternative to imprisonment.

Offenders are required to stay indoors for between two and 12 hours a day and their movements are monitored.

The monitoring is usually carried out by using an electronic tag.

A study of 10 to 17-year-olds placed under curfew in the first quarter of 2003 showed that just over 75% were reconvicted within 12 months.

We have learned that curfew orders and tagging are useful but they are more effective when used with other provisions
Home Office spokeswoman

The figure - an increase on previous years - was higher than any other type of penalty.

The reconviction rate for those given custodial sentences also increased, to almost 70%.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We have learned that curfew orders and tagging are useful but they are more effective when used with other provisions such as education programmes and offending behaviour courses."

Last September the then home secretary, David Blunkett, said curfew orders were one of the main "tools" being used to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime.

He noted that 6,000 child curfew orders had so far been issued.


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