In LA, faulty GPS trackers let criminals roam undetected

Many GPS trackers are worn around the ankle.

(Credit: ucb2010news21/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

GPS helped change our perception of crime.

In movies, following the bad guys on foot or by car was always fraught with danger and the sudden interference of a random slow pedestrian or Volvo driver.

Subsequently, the sudden ability to slip a GPS tracker on the bad guys’ car meant the police could munch on donuts and cheerily wait for their prey to stop when nature called.

It seems, though, that in the heart of movieland, technology is messing with the script.

As the LA Times reported Thursday, GPS trackers that are being placed on serious criminals released on probation aren’t always proving themselves effective.

Indeed, in a six-week period earlier this year, one in four malfunctioned. Which meant that hardened types wandered around LA with solid abandon.

These figures were tracked down in a probation department audit that makes for quite dramatic reading. Two more eye-opening data points from the audit, which covered the period between August 1 and September 11:

  • 51 out of 196 released criminals had to exchange their GPS monitors because, for some reason, they didn’t work.
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Posted in CNET on Dec 28th, 2013 by In The News Team   

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