A magistrate has been given a taste of her own medicine to highlight the impact of tagging on criminals.
Yvonne Powell JP, who sits at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court, volunteered to spend a week wearing an electronic tag in order to get a better understanding of the punishment. Her curfew ran from 7pm to 6am every day and stopped her from leaving the house or even entering her own garden.
The stunt will feature in a new film produced to give people working in the legal profession a better understanding of tagging.
Ms Powell said: “In the interests of authenticity I asked the organiser not to tell me when I would be tagged until 48 hours before it happened.
“As a result I already had a fully booked diary for the week, which caused some problems. On a practical level, the tag on my ankle made things such as bathing and getting dressed a challenge. I wore trousers every day so people would be less likely to see it.”
She added: “There were also many parts of my normal routine which proved impossible. For example, I couldn’t pick up my daughters or groceries outside of curfew hours. On many occasions I had to rely on the rest of my family to do things.”
She also attempted to tamper with the device - but later found that her attempts to disable it and evade the curfew had been recorded. She said the first-hand experience of the punishment would encourage her to use it more frequently in the future.
Tag-a-mag, produced by the London Criminal Justice Board, can be seen at lcjb.cjsonline.gov.uk.