THE Balearic Islands will be testing the new electronic tagging systmem for domestic violence offenders, which are being promoted by Madrid, the worldwide pioneer. During the months of June, July and August the islands will test out these systems that will warn domestic violence victims if their attackers, who are under a restraining order, are nearby. The central Government in Madrid has made this trail possible and yesterday the Minister for Presidency, Rosa Puig accompanied by the Minister for the Interior, José María Rodríguez, signed this agreement with the Minister for Justice in Madrid, Alfredo Prada. These electronic tagging devices can only be given to attackers by order of a judge. The tags act like satellite tracking machine. The attacker wears a bracelet, which will look similar to a watch, and the victim and attacker will both have a walkie-talkie. The domestic violence attacker must always wear the bracelet. The device, which has been designed by the Complutense University, sends a signal to the victim's machine if the attacker is within 500 metres distance. The device also sends an immediate warning to the the emergency services. Madrid is currently waiting to recieve five of these devices from a company in Israel, who specialises in telecommunications and machines which track and locate prisoners. The Madrid government will be giving the Balearic Islands one of these tagging systems so that during the three months they can put it on trail.
Once all the trails have taken place and the results have been seen to be good, then either in September or October, more devices will be ordered and made available to the authorities, “not less than 50”, said Prada. After the trails, the Balearic Islands will be able to buy the tagging systems direct from the supplier, and will cost approximately 1'00 euros per machine. It is currently not known how many of these tagging systems the Balearic Islands will need, said Puig. This all depends on how many the judges ask for, Puig added. This electronic device has been allowed to be used thanks to a reform of the Penal Code, which gives judges the right to use electronic machines in restraining order cases.