Electronic monitoring regulator needed

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

An electronic monitoring regulator should be established to ensure that intrusive monitoring technologies are only used when there are clear ethical and practical grounds for doing so.

The call for an electronic monitoring regulator is contained in our submission to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PDF). The Committee is currently undertaking an inquiry into electronic monitoring.

In our submission, we point out that recent reports from the National Audit Office and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation on electronic monitoring (EM) have "laid bare the gaps in commissioning and overssing EM provision and practice". This includes "shortfalls in strategy and provision indicate a continuing failure of government strategy".

As a first step to addressing these failings, we argue, an electronic monitoring regulator, "with an ethical and practical mission of ensuring that only appropriate services are provided, in the public interest", should be appointed. The regulator, we add, should report annually to parliament to help improve accountability and transparency.

Our submission was written by our Research Director, Dr Roger Grimshaw, who has been undertaking ongoing work in the area of electronic monitoring. We are aiming to produce a report later this year.

You can download our submission below.