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Electronic tagging for domestic abuse offenders deemed effective

New laws will allow offenders to be fitted with electronic surveillence tags in Switzerland. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The Swiss government has given its approval for domestic violence offenders to be fitted with electronic wrist or ankle devices that monitor their movements.

This content was published on December 3, 2021 - 13:05
swissinfo.ch/mga

The government said such a measureExternal link, along with other uses of electronic devices that have already proven successful in Spain, can “prevent repeat offenses and improve victims’ quality of life”.  

Switzerland outlined its determination to offer better protection for the victims of domestic abuse and to tackle violence against women earlier this year.

Spain’s use of electronic tags to keep track of abusers, along with alarm devices for victims, was given a positive rating by a University of Bern study commissioned by the Swiss authorities.

On Friday, the government said that “the use of technology should always be part of the overall strategy” for tackling such violence. It welcomed a proposed cantonal pilot program to issue victims of domestic abuse with electronic alarm devices.

The legal basis for tagging offenders will come into force on January 1, 2022, as part of a wider law on protecting the victims of violence. Individual cantons are responsible for enforcing the measure when they deem it appropriate.

The government recommended that electronic solutions should be tailored to individual cases to increase their effectiveness. It also called on cantons and agencies to monitor and “deepen knowledge” of how such systems work in practice.

Last year, police recorded more than 46,000 violent crimes in Switzerland, including more than 20,000 domestic offences. Some 27,000 children and teenagers are affected by domestic violence every year.

Switzerland ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul ConventionExternal link) in 2018.

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