'Sweat test' ankle bracelets to target alcohol-related crime

4 months ago 34
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Dutch criminals convicted of alcohol-related offences will be forced to wear a special ankle bracelet to monitor their drinking habits.

The electronic tag, called an alcoholmeter, will be able to keep track of any sign of alcohol consumption by analysing the sweat of the person wearing it.

Data will be sent to a central server once a day, giving probation officers a clear picture of the wearer's behaviour.

"Clients are continuously aware of the fact that they have something that is measuring their alcohol consumption. That helps them to keep away from alcohol abuse," said probation officer Tony Rubino.

A mother of two boys, who took part in the government's pilot studies for the bracelet, said: "I have two young boys and had to show that I don't drink anymore.

"The alcohol anklet was an excellent opportunity for me to show that I do not drink 24/7."

The Dutch justice ministry said its pilot studies showed 71% of the participants did not have any alcohol during the test, even though some were allowed access to it.

Around half said they did not drink for at least three months after the anklet was taken off.

Studies cited by the justice ministry have shown that 26% to 43% of all violent incidents in the Netherlands are related to alcohol, while the cost of alcohol abuse to Dutch society is estimated to run to €6bn (£5.4bn).

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