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Nearly 2,000 offenders made to wear alcohol-detecting tags this Christmas | Politics News

Nearly 2,000 offenders have been made to wear tags that detect if they have drunk alcohol this Christmas.

New statistics have revealed about 1,800 offenders have been made to wear sobriety tags over the Christmas and New Year period to tackle alcohol-related crime.

The tags, introduced in 2020, monitor the alcohol content in an individual’s sweat and can indicate whether offenders banned from alcohol are breaching their no-alcohol orders, which could mean returning to court for further punishment, including prison.

They are accurate enough to distinguish between foods that contain low levels of alcohol, such as brandy butter and Christmas pudding, and alcoholic drinks.

This Christmas there have been more than double the number of offenders wearing the alcohol tags than last year, when about 800 had them.

The Ministry of Justice said those banned from drinking alcohol by the courts have managed to stay sober on 97% of the days they were tagged.

But the festive period is particularly important as 39% of all violent crimes in the UK involve alcohol, including domestic abuse, which can rise over Christmas and New Year.

Read more: Sobriety tags launched for offenders committing alcohol-related crimes

About 20% of those supervised by probation are classed as having an alcohol problem, with drink-fuelled crime estimated to cost the UK £21bn a year.

The tags monitor offenders on community sentences who are banned from drinking and can also be used as a licence condition for those leaving prison.

Prisons and Probation Minister Damian Hinds said: “Alcohol-fuelled crime such as domestic abuse is known to spike over the festive period, but our new alcohol tags can help stop that – protecting victims and tackling the causes of offending.

“We’re investing £183 million in electronic monitoring and the increased use of sobriety tags is already helping to keep our communities safer.”

The government has said it is investing £183m over the next three years into tagging technology to tackle crime.

Prince Andrew to wear military uniform for vigil but not Queen’s funeral after being stripped of his honorary military roles | UK News

Prince Andrew will wear military uniform for the final vigil around the Queen’s coffin during the lying in state at Westminster Hall – but not for her funeral or other ceremonial events in the coming days.

The disgraced royal was stripped of all of his honorary military roles in January, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, after the furore over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Virginia Giuffre, a woman he claimed never to have met.

He denied all her claims.

King flies in to lead procession amid huge security operation – royal news latest updates

Andrew, a former Royal Navy officer who served in the Falklands War, retained his rank as a Vice Admiral.

While working royals including the King, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex will parade in military uniform at the state funeral next Monday and on other occasions in the coming week, Andrew will not, apart from at the vigil.

As a non-working member of the Royal Family, the Duke of York will wear uniform as a special mark of respect for the Queen at the vigil in Westminster Hall, sources said.

It has not yet been confirmed whether the Duke of Sussex – also a non-working royal – will wear military dress.

At the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April 2021, the issue of military dress was dealt with by the Queen, who decided that no members of the Royal Family should wear uniform.

It was a break with tradition but seen as the most eloquent solution to a host of problems.

Reports had suggested Andrew was considering wearing the uniform of an admiral.

He was due to be promoted to Admiral in 2020 to mark his 60th birthday but this did not go ahead following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight appearance.