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Tories would use GPS bracelets to monitor sex offenders

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A McFadyen government would expand the use of electronic monitoring by attaching the high-tech anklets to dangerous sex offenders.

Progressive Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen made the promise today as part of his party’s get-tougher-on-crime platform.

"We want make sure law enforcment has every tool at its disposal, " McFadyen said in a park in St. Norbert.

Currently, only high-risk car thieves wear the ankle bracelets, which track their movements using global-positioning technology.

The Tories will also increase efforts to help police track down Internet pedophiles who make and collect child pornography.

In January, Attorney General Andrew Swan said the NDP would consider expanding the electronic monitoring program to sex offenders depending on the recommendations of a study of the three-year-old program.

The report, prepared by a University of Manitoba researcher, evaluated Manitoba’s experience with the GPS-equipped anklets since they were introduced in April 2008. It includes about a dozen interviews with some of the offenders who wore the bracelets. The program -- which costs about $300,000 a year -- has seen more than 60 of the worst thieves wear the anklets under a court order when released into the community.

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