Reliance loses £30m tags contract
CONTROVERSIAL security firm Reliance has lost the £30 million contract to monitor Scotland's tagged criminals.
The beleaguered company, which has been plagued by a catalogue of mistaken releases and escapes, was today left counting the cost of the Scottish Executive's decision.
Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson has instead handed the contract to rival firm Serco - which runs Kilmarnock Prison, Scotland's only private jail.
Serco will operate the electronic tagging scheme from April next year until 2011.
The contract was previously awarded to Reliance in January 2002 for 14 million and was extended for a further 12 months earlier this year.
The Executive denied Reliance lost out because of well-publicised problems when it took over responsibility last year for court and prison escort duties.
A spokesman said both activities were carried out by different Reliance companies and the tagging decision had nothing to do with the escort duties.
Tagging is to be extended to low-risk prisoners who will be allowed to serve the last part of their sentence at home. It is also being used on under-16s as an alternative to secure accommodation.
Ms Jamieson said the contract switch was based on value for money and "quality of service".
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