French MPs back e-tag for domestic violence offenders

Paris (AFP) –


French MPs on Wednesday approved a law forcing domestic violence offenders to wear electronic bracelets to ensure they stay away from current or former partners who have reported abuse.

The legislation "will prevent an important number of femicides," Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet told lawmakers Wednesday.

The voluntary measure will require offenders to wear the bracelet either "after being convicted or ahead of sentencing, or as part of protective action taken outside of any criminal complaint," Belloubet said.

The French Senate passed the bill unanimously after it had already been fast-tracked through the lower house of parliament in October.

The move is part of a wider government crackdown on domestic violence after a rise in killings of women by their male partners this year.

Officials will also create 1,000 new places in emergency shelters.

The ankle bracelets are already used in other European countries like Spain and in some US states, where they have contributed to significant declines in fatal attacks.

The tags are equipped with GPS trackers, which send a signal to police if violent suspects approach their victims.

More than 120 women died at the hands of current or former partners last year in France, official figures show, a number which advocacy groups say has already been surpassed this year.

The launch of the first 1,000 bracelets will cost between five million euros ($5.5 million) and six million euros.