After a disturbing turn of events, Scotland is considering following in Australia’s footsteps in attaching GPS tracking devices to its high risk sex offenders. Only a few days after being released from prison, Ryan Yates attempted to murder a grandmother in order to victimize her young grandchildren. Fortunately, the 60-year-old woman was able to fend off Yates while the children escaped, despite being stabbed by the attacker. The event has cast a critical eye on the police and other public bodies, responsible for monitoring Yates after his release from prison.
“Scotland has one of the most robust systems for managing sex offenders anywhere in the world and the monitoring of such offenders is now tougher than ever before. However, if processes can be improved and strengthened further, our law enforcement agencies and the Scottish Government will take action, which is why we brought in the new disclosure scheme allowing parents the right to know if a convicted sex offender is living in their community,” explained Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.
“The Scottish Government is determined to take every opportunity of building on and strengthening the steps already taken to protect our communities from sex offenders,” MacAskill concluded. Yates was taken back to jail and sentenced for a minimum of ten years. GPS tracking devices aren’t fail-proof, but they do allow probation officers to have a better idea of the movements and whereabouts of a released convict. Geofences, or boundaries, can be set around schools and other places children populate to alert police if a high-risk offender is nearby.
“As is highlighted within the report, responsibility for what occurred on October 14, 2009, rests with the offender and only the offender. Clearly each of the members of the group has a responsibility to ensure that the public is protected as much as is possible. However, it is simply not possible to monitor an individual’s movements at all times, particularly in cases such as this where an offender is determined to commit further crimes after being released back into the community,” explained Tom Cowan, Northern Community Justice Authority.