Human rights groups the Public Law Project, Bail for Immigration Detainees and Medical Justice Monday released a joint report calling upon the UK government to immediately end GPS electronic monitoring of immigration bailees. GPS monitors currently track approximately 2000 people for 24 hours a day. The tracking devices do not have an expiry date and can only be removed by court decision.The report “focused on the anticipated impact of electronic monitoring on physical or psychological wellbeing.” The groups found that the use of the tracking devices has serious impacts on the physical and mental health of bailees. According to the report, “clinicians raised concerns about the potential for electronic monitoring to exacerbate mental illness by triggering reminders of their trauma, for example where clients had a history of being restrained, or where they feared return to a situation where they may be at risk of further harm, or had experiences of powerlessness.” There is also serious concern that the trackers are restrictive socially and physically due to charging requirements. Physical impacts include skin conditions and musculoskeletal issues.Although the report calls for the immediate end of GPS electronic monitoring, the groups also provide recommendations for better regulation of the tracking devices if they are to continue. Recommendations include a strict limit on the time a tracking device shall be worn and call for GPS monitoring to be removed as a mandatory term of immigrant bail.

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