December 2022 NewsLetter Newsletter

‘Every Move You Make: The Human Cost of GPS Tagging in the Immigration System’. A Report by Bail for Immigration Detainees, Medical Justice and the Public Law Project

Since January this year, those on immigration bail have been subject to GPS tagging. This research, published in October, is based on a review of medical-legal assessments written by clinicians concerning the impact of electronic monitoring, conducted by Medical Justice, and interviews with 19 former clients of Bail for Immigration Detainees who have been fitted with a GPS tag as part of their immigration bail conditions. The Home Office justifies the use of electronic monitoring on the grounds that it ‘encourage[s] compliance with immigration rules and protect[s] the public’. However, as the report states, the rate of ‘absconding’ is exceptionally low. Less than three per cent of people released from detention absconded in 2021 and an even lower proportion absconded in the first six months of 2022. The report found that GPS tagging caused serious damage to their mental and physical health and left them feeling suicidal. It described this form of surveillance as ‘invasive’, as going further than is necessary to ensure that individuals were meeting necessary conditions, and as ‘psychological torture. It recommended that GPS tagging be stopped but, if had to be used, it should be subject to a strict time limit and that there should be an end to the use of mandatory electronic monitoring. To read the report, go to