POLICE SCOTLAND are pressing for the use of sobriety bracelets that can detect alcohol in the sweat of those who wear them.
The pioneering technology, which is already being used in the US, would be used to monitor people convicted of alcohol-related offences.
Senior officers want courts to be given the ability to impose the bracelets on anyone serving a community sentence.
However, the force faces opposition from the Scottish Association of Social Workers, who say any such scheme should be voluntary.
Police Scotland said: “It is reasonable to consider the use of evolving technology such as a remote alcohol monitoring service to reduce the reliance on alcohol by individuals who have committed offences and are likely to offend again as a consequence of alcohol consumption.
“However, while there may be value in extending such a scheme on a voluntary basis, without the ability to place some form of compulsory requirement for monitoring on those most susceptible to reoffending it could potentially fail to support the opportunity to bring sustainable positive change to their behaviour.”
SASW, who believe the bracelets should be voluntary, said: “Imposition could be counterproductive and create additional breach offences.”
It added: “With the exception of the Alcoholics Anonymous approach, total and permanent abstention is not a moderl operated by any of the alcohol services in the Scottish sector, so it might not be compatible with a rehabilitation model unless it was for measuring frequency and amount rather than ‘presence’ along of alcohol.”
Police also want GPS to be used for offenders in the community, but SASW is only in agreement with the use of the technology for the “‘critical few’ very high risk offenders”.