G4S sacks pair who tagged offender's false leg
- 29 August 2011
- From the section England
Private security firm G4S has sacked two members of staff who tagged a man's false leg allowing him to remove it and break a court-imposed curfew.
The pair were fooled by Christopher Lowcock, 29, who wrapped the prosthetic limb in a bandage when G4S set up the system at his Rochdale home.
He was then able to remove the limb and break a curfew imposed for offences involving drugs, driving and a weapon.
G4S sacked the pair for committing a serious disciplinary offence, it said.
In a statement the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said procedures "were clearly not followed in this case and G4S have taken action against the staff involved".
"Two thousand offenders are tagged every week and incidents like this are very rare," a spokesman added.
G4S revealed managers became suspicious last month but when they returned to Lowcock's home he had been returned to custody accused of a driving-related offence.
The company revealed the second employee who went to check on the monitoring equipment at Lowcock's home was also sacked for failing to realise he had fooled them into tagging his false leg.
A spokeswoman for the company said it placed electronic tags on "70,000 subjects a year on behalf of the Ministry of Justice".
"Given the critical nature of this service we have very strict procedures in place which all of our staff must follow.
"In this individual's case two employees failed to adhere to the correct procedures when installing the tag. Had they done so, they would have identified his prosthetic leg."
The two staff involved had committed a serious disciplinary offence by failing to follow procedure and had been dismissed, she said.
The MoJ said contractors were expected to adhere to "the highest standards of professionalism" and strict guidelines had to be followed when tagging offenders.