Electronic monitoring: Important information for family, whānau and occupants

17 November 2020

The Court can impose electronic monitoring (EM) as part of a defendant's bail conditions while awaiting a Court hearing.

Being electronically monitored requires defendants to wear a tracker 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. A monitoring unit will be placed at their home address.

Before a defendant can be released to an address, a probation officer or bail support officer will carry out a suitability check with regards to both the address and other occupants. Part of that process requires them to talk to all relevant occupants at the address to ensure they are happy for the defendant to live there.

Relevant occupants

  • A relevant occupant is any person, 16 years of age and over, who is going to be living at the same address as the defendant if they are given electronically monitored bail.
  • The relevant occupant includes anyone who is thinking about moving in or who moves into the address after the defendant has been granted electronically monitored bail.

People you will see often

Probation officer/Bail support officer:

The person from Corrections who complete any checks with the occupants/family before a defendant is released onto EM Bail. This person will also complete an induction with the defendant once they have been released onto EM Bail.

Field officer:

  • A person from the monitoring company who will install, maintain and check the monitoring equipment and respond to any alert.
  • Corrections has contracted Attenti to provide electronic monitoring services. Attenti provides the electronic equipment and managed the Monitoring Centre. Attenti contacts First Security to carry out all electronic monitoring field services including installing and servicing your electronic monitoring equipment and responding to alerts. Field officers will wear Attenti/First Security identification at all times and will in First Security uniform.

Information sought from relevant occupants

A probation officer or bail support officer will contact the occupants at the proposed address.

If they agree in principle to the defendant living with them, the officer will visit them at the house to talk about what is needed for electronic monitoring and go through a safety checklist. This will take about one hour. Occupants will also need to consent to a criminal and traffic history check and other checks that may need to be completed to assist the officer with their assessment.

A field officer will also check that the electronic monitoring equipment will work at the address.

Obligations of relevant occupants

The occupants must agree to a number of conditions including:

  • To have monitoring equipment in their house
  • Not to move or damage the monitoring equipment
  • To give a field officer (on showing proper identification) access to the house to maintain the equipment, response to alerts, or remove the equipment
  • To give Police and Corrections staff access to the address for Electronic Monitoring purposes
  • Each relevant occupant will sign the occupants consent form to show that they:
    • consent to the defendant living at the address on electronic monitoring
    • agree to abide by the conditions set for the electronically monitored bail

Supporting someone on Electronic Monitoring

Having someone confined at home during a curfew can lead to increased feelings of stress or frustration for everyone connected to the offender/defendant, particularly if you share a residence.

Please note, in times of high stress, the offender/defendant cannot leave the residence even if they want to unless there is an emergency situation.

If there are children living at the address

A probation officer or bail support officer will make enquiries with Oranga Tamariki:

  • If there are children, aged 16 years or under, living at the proposed address. This will happen even if the children are only there part-time.
  • If the defendant has past conditions or current charges of offending against children.

Refusing consent

An occupant may refuse consent. Occupants are encouraged to express any concerns they might have about the impact electronically monitored bail will have on them, family members or other occupants.

It is important that occupants do not feel duty bound or pressured to give their permission for the defendant to live at their address.

If consent is not given by one or more relevant occupants, the application will be declined.

Withdrawing consent after it is given

Occupants may withdraw their consent at any time. Occupants don’t have to give any reason for withdrawing their consent.

Unless another suitable address can be found the defendant may be taken into Police custody and appear before a Judge who will re-examine suitability of the electronically monitored order.

Pressures on occupants

An electronically monitored bail order can be stressful for occupants as well as defendants for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • the restrictions on the defendant's ability to leave the address
  • in some cases, because the defendant cannot bring income into the house
  • the lack of general freedom of movement of social contact due to EM conditions
  • lack of privacy with random visits being conducted by Police personnel and field officers to make sure EM conditions are being complied with.

All of this can be difficult for other occupants who provide support and do extra tasks on behalf of the defendant.

Managing absences and appointments

The EM Bail team or bail support officer will be able discuss with you what kind of activities may be suitable for someone who is being electronically monitored.

The person you are supporting on electronic monitoring may need help with arranging appointments and getting organised.

For an approved absence they must leave and arrive home on time. They need to arrange how they will travel to appointments and which route they will take.

You may be asked to attend appointments as a support person and to verify information.

If the person does not comply

If a person being electronically monitored breaks the rules or conditions, they may have further chargers laid and have to appear in Court. You will not get into trouble if the person you are supporting on electronic monitoring breaks the rules however, you may be charges with an offence if you refuse to let any Corrections staff, field officers appropriately identified or Police into the address where the defendant is a resident

Who to contact with questions or concerns

If you feel at risk, leave the address if this is a safe option for you, family members and other occupants.

In a non-emergency – not involving a risk to personal safety, contact the EM Bail team on 0800 EM BAIL (0800 362 245)