Romania to start monitoring offenders using GPS

Romania now has the legal framework to use GPS to monitor offenders who violate restraining orders. According to the law promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis, offenders will be required to wear a GPS tracking device in the form of an ankle bracelet (via Transindex).

Romanian authorities issued 7,986 provisional protection orders (valid for 5 days) to safeguard victims of domestic violence in 2019, the report submitted by the country to the Council of Europe reveals. That year, authorities issued 7,899 protection orders based on 35,623 criminal complaints. However, in 2019, offenders breached the protection order in 766 cases, according to the same report. Some 78 percent of the incidents leading to the issue of such orders occurred at the family home of the individuals in question.

Source: The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

GPS monitoring will be used to monitor an offender’s location and notify law enforcement agencies if he/she enters the exclusion zone, which could be around the victim’s home, work, etc. The ankle bracelets will be registered in a national infrastructure called the Electronic Surveillance System, part of the SIME (Electronic Monitoring Information System), as outlined in the bill.

While the GPS monitoring of offenders may be new in Romania, electronic monitoring (EM) is used in the U.S., Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, England and Wales, as well as in a number of other EU countries.

Title image: This is how GPS monitoring works. Source: Government Accountability Office

Author: István Fekete