England

Staff arrested amid electronic tag tampering claims

Electronic tag
Image caption Security staff were paid to fit electronic tags loosely, the Sun newspaper claims

Three people have been arrested by police investigating the alleged misuse of electronic tags used to monitor criminals.

The probe relates to allegations that Electronic Monitoring Service (EMS) employees were paid to fit the devices loosely so they could be removed, The Sun said.

The newspaper alleges some of those under curfew were able to pull off the tags and go out for the night.

EMS said it was an "isolated issue".

The Ministry of Justice said it was urgently investigating.

Two current and one former members of EMS staff have been arrested, the Metropolitan Police said. A further 11 people have also been questioned.

The Sun said the matter came to light after an offender was arrested when they should have been under curfew.

'Zero tolerance'

A 46-year-old former EMS employee was arrested in Romford, east London, for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and the theft of tagging equipment.

Police said a house was searched and items of evidence recovered.

A 45-year-old man from Barking and a 57-year-old woman from Romford have been questioned for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

A further 11 people - none of whom are former or current EMS employees - have been questioned on the same charge.

All 14 have been bailed to dates in April.

An EMS spokesperson said: "We have a zero tolerance policy against any of our employees who act in any way to undermine the robustness of the electronic monitoring service.

"The small number of employees being investigated regarding this isolated issue were swiftly taken off duties and we are closely co-operating with the Metropolitan Police Service."

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