L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

19 April 2007 Blog Home : April 2007 : Permalink

Tag the Senile

Another one of those "Huh" moments. Some bright spark in HMG thinks we should tag our senile old grannies and grandpas and let the poor dears wander around the place on their own. Given that tagging prisoners has been such a magnificent success (er not) obviously we can expect the same level of competence when we call our friendly local tag watcher and ask him or her for a fix on dear old auntie Mildred.
"Yeah er she's at 101 Gresham St as usual"
"No she isn't that's where I am she's not here"
"Err hang on" tappety tap "Ohno she's moved lookes like Bolsover square now, no wait a sec now she's on the high street, do you think she's on a bus?"
And that's the sort of best case scenario. Worst case is when the tagger doesn't work or gives inaccurate information. I'm not a GPS expert but I can tell you that GPSes are not exactly pin-point accuracy, especially in urban areas, and are total pants if you go inside buildings or enclosed metal vehicles. Even when they are accurate they are accurate to approx 10m or so. In a vehicle 10m is usually accuate enough because it can predict which street you are on (although I've frequently seen GPSes put me on the wrong street now and again), as a pedestrian it is less good. Is she in the pub's beer garden having a snooze or 5m north on the other side of the wall by the rubish bins? Is she walking across the highstreet using the bridge and stop to admire the view or did she just step out in front of a car? Indoors (assuming the thing works indoors) is worse. What floor is she on? 10m accuracy gives you at least two and maybe three to choose from.

And that assumes she's remembered to put the thing on, has had the battery charged up etc.

But I have a concrete suggestion. Tag our politicians and civil servants and let them see how well the system works first.

For extra fun and games make sure the tag has a high voltage shocker for those periods when the scum need a bit of a reminder and let random members of the public decide when to set them off. If you stuck a cameraphone on the tag I reckon this could be the next big hit reality TV show.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin