You arrest a cybercriminal and send him to prison and after he’s released he might not be rehabilitated or maybe but there’s something worse than prison for criminals in that category and that’s Wi-Fi (internet service). We can take this away from them for a long time thereby saving the state the cost of catering for individuals in this category while achieving a greater punishment for them.
According to Ch Supt Gavin Thomas who is also the president of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales, wearing Wi-Fi jammers on the ankles of cybercriminals could be more effective than sending them to prison. In an interview with The Telegraph, he said “We have got to stop using 19th-century punishments to deal with 21st-century crimes,” but as novel as this sounds, it is still illegal to use signal jammers and so such laws need to be amended for this to become a legal tool under the law.
“It costs around £38,000 a year to keep someone in prison but if you look at the statistics around short term sentencing the recidivism rate is extraordinarily high.
So while we might feel good about ourselves that we have put someone in prison for 12 to 15 months, the chances are that person is going to come out of prison and commit more crime.
We can continue jailing criminals but it is not going to help the long term situation and I speak as someone who has spent a career putting people in prison.”
Other argue though that it is counterproductive to take away technology from a tech offender. A separate research by a team at the Parenting of a Digital Future think embarking on such a move might just make young people in a more risky behaviour by seeing alternative means of accessing the internet. This could put them in more danger than anticipated.
The other challenge with the idea from the police chief is that network jammers work based on specific frequencies and there’s an easy way out, just use a cable.
Knowing how long it would take for a typical government to ratify a move such as this, it doesn’t look like this would become a way of punishing younger offenders anytime soon.