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On July 1, the Probation Law came into effect in Lithuania. The law provides for using electronic monitoring systems to control persons under suspended sentence. The supply tender was awarded to the BS/2 company, a member of the Penki Kontinentai Group. BS/2 offers advanced products from the UK’s Serco Geographix Ltd (SGL), Europe’s largest manufacturer of electronic monitoring hardware and software.
Being SGL’s partner, BS/2 supplies personal identity devices, site monitoring units, field management units, and monitoring software. According to Tomas Augucevicius, deputy director of BS/2′s Sales Department, by using these modern devices, the government will be able to save money.
Says Augucevicius: “Up until now, the government has been spending LTL 50 a day to maintain one convicted person; by applying SGL hardware and software, we will cut the costs to LTL 13. In addition, it is being considered whether convicted people should themselves pay for their personal identity devices. This would allow even greater savings of the taxpayer’s money. When electronic monitoring is being applied, convicted people are not isolated from society, they receive the opportunity to work, study, live with their families, and pay their taxes, which all helps them to integrate into society faster.”
According to the law, based on a court order and only if the person under suspended sentence has given his or her consent, a personal identity device (bracelet) is attached to his or her ankle or wrist; the device’s movement is then monitored on a computer screen. The bracelet is secured in a very simple way, without using any tools. It is very lightweight (less than 70 g) and does not restrict the person’s movements, while the device’s advanced fiber optic system allows easy detection of any attempt to tamper with the device. This bracelet is designed to be worn every day; it is durable and resistant to all aspects of everyday life. The device emits encoded radio signal, with a range of 100 m; the signal is detected by an site monitoring unit located in the curfew site.
The site monitoring unit connects the person wearing the bracelet with the monitoring center. Connection is made using a landline or an optional site monitoring unit cellphoneunit. The site monitoring unit uses a dual receiver and aerial system, which together with its 99 levels of sensitivity enables an accurate boundary to be placed around curfew sites. The site monitoring unitSMU has the ability to retain up to 5,000 events, which allows seeing the complete event history.
Information concerning the status of the site monitoring unit itself and each personal identity device is sent to the monitoring center. The center uses GEM2 Monitoring Console software to monitor how the convicted people wearing the bracelets comply with the imposed restrictions and whether anybody attempts to tamper with the devices. According Augucevicius, GEM2 provides all the necessary monitoring functions on a computer screen and is easy to use.
The BS/2 specialist commented: “Accessed at the monitoring center or via the Internet, the software records every message. The software saves every probation-related message, this way creating a detailed probation period report. GEM2 can be easily adapted to any change in the requirements (for example, translated to another language or used to create specialist reports and screens). In addition, the structure of all the processes run by the software is transparent and the software’s messages are easy to understand, which makes it possible to learn how to use the software in a relatively short time.
Devices from SGL are successfully used in the UK, Scotland, Austria, Canada, Italy and other countries. SGL is an ISO 9001 registered company. Its products can be used in various domains. As a company that has 10 years’ experience in security technology, BS/2 (which supplies and distributes SGL products in Lithuania) sees a lot of opportunity in this area.