Yesterday Kit Malthouse MP spoke on the Policing and Crime Bill after tabling an amendment that would enable police to charge for testing under the new Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Orders he introduced in London as Deputy Mayor for Policing and which are now available to forces nationally.
Explaining the new measures to fellow MPs, Kit said “Essentially, an offender, rather than going to prison, which would mean losing their job and contact with their family, is sentenced to wear an alcohol-testing tag or bracelet…to make sure they are not drinking.”
He went on to note that these orders have been successful in the United States, where a nominal fee is charged. In the state in which they originated, South Dakota, compliance has been high, road deaths and drink driving arrests have fallen, and recidivism has dropped. In the Croydon pilot scheme Kit launched as Deputy Mayor, there has been a 93% compliance rate and a significant drop in reoffending.
Charging for testing under these orders puts the offender “in charge of their own custody” and makes the business case for police forces to adopt the scheme as it saves them the large start-up cost. Kit argued that offenders would be able to pay the small cost of the testing as it is money they would otherwise be spending on alcohol.