A REDDITCH firm is responsible for the next generation of electronic tagging of offenders.

Steatite Ltd, a leading technology solutions provider, recently acquired a significant contract with the Department of Justice making a new generation GPS satellite-tracking tags.

While Steatite will develop and manufacture the GPS tags, public services outsourcing company Capita will manage the overall contract.

Airbus Defence and Space will provide satellite mapping and Tefonica will supply the network.

Justice secretary Chris Grayling said the new six-year tagging contract would allow the introduction of the tags for some offenders by the end of this year.

John Lavery, managing director of the company, said it fought off a number of UK and international firms to win the prestigious contract.

"This contract has taken three years to win with the secretary of state for justice Chris Graying having a key role in the program," he said.

"The new technology supplied by Steatite will allow the Ministry Of Justice to keep a much closer watch on the most high risk and persistent offenders who cause so much harm to our committees and will reduce the cost to the tax payer."

The new devices should start deployment by December and will introduce a whole new way of monitoring tracking offenders.

These new tags will allow dangerous and repeat offenders to be tracked around the clock and could also be fitted to prisoners who are given temporary release from prison to monitor their compliance .

The current tagging contract which has cost more than £700m since 2005 enables about 100,000 offenders to be tagged each year.

Tags are currently used to monitor whether offenders released from prison under home detention curfew or under court curfew orders remain at an address, they are also used to monitor bail conditions.

Mr Lavery added: "I moved Steatite from Birmingham to Redditch in 2002 as I live and have raised two children in the area. We have grown in that period from a £3million business employing 18 people to a £25 million business employing more than 100 local people.

"This contract will add considerably to both turnover and employment over the next 3 years."

Commenting on the success Redditch MP Karen Lumley said: "This is a brilliant local achievement which I believe must be celebrated as contracts such as these are very beneficial to both the national and regional economy.

"I'm sure the success of Steatite will continue into the future."