Teen who has to wear police tag says it makes him feel depressed

Teen, 17, who has to wear an electronic tag after being caught with a machete says it makes him feel depressed and ‘like a caged animal’ – but his mum says it’s the ‘best thing to happen to him’

  • Kian, from St Helens, was caught with machete and has to wear tag for 12 weeks
  • Claims he intended no harm and being stuck indoors affects his mental health
  • Mother Jane says tag is a good thing as it’s got him away from a bad crowd
  • Kian shares his story on a new BBC Three series – Tagged: Life on Lockdown

A teenager who has to wear an electronic police tag after being caught with a machete has claimed it’s left him depressed and ‘physically drained’.

Kian, 17, from St Helens, says being stuck indoors every day has had a negative impact on his mood and gives rise to feelings of anger.

However, his mother Jane claims it’s the ‘best thing that could have happened to him’ as it’s stopped him hanging around with a bad crowd.

Kian’s story features on a new BBC Three series called Tagged: Life of Lockdown, which follows three young men as they live their lives on electronic tag. 

Kian, 17, from St Helens, says being stuck indoors every day has had a negative impact on his mood and gives rise to feelings of anger.

Every year 2,900 people released from prison are ordered to wear a tag. The cost of keeping someone in prison is £90 per day – compared to £13 per day for keeping someone on tag. 

While it’s a chance to do less time behind bars or avoid a prison sentence altogether, a tag means a strict home curfew and requires wearers to stay indoors for at least nine hours a day.

With 30 per cent of tag orders breached every year, it’s no surprise that Kian finds it challenging.  

‘It affects me mentally being stuck in a room all day doing nothing,’ he explains.

Kian’s mother Jane (right) claims having to wear a tag is the ‘best thing that could have happened to him’ as it’s stopped him hanging around with a bad crowd

‘It affected me in a way I didn’t expect it to, which is my mental health… when I’m sat there doing nothing I get depressed. When I can go out it’s a relief.’

Kian claims he didn’t have any intention of harming anyone with the machete he was carrying when he was caught by police – which he says was a birthday gift from a friend.

‘I had an argument with her sister and she told me to get the f*** out of her flat at half three in the morning, so I grabbed my dog, grabbed my bag and my work pants, grabbed my machete and walked out,’ he recalls.

‘Then obviously when the police pulled me I was honest and open to what I had and they just brought me home and I went to court for it.’

These days Kian uses boxing at a local gym to vent his frustrations – after the free-running class he used to do at the local family centre stopped due to cuts

He is also facing another court appearance for being a passenger in a stolen car. 

Kian says he doesn’t like his tag showing when he goes out – despite lots of people in his area ‘ending up on it’.

‘It doesn’t make you hard or anything,’ he says. ‘Being on tag is nothing to be proud of, it’s basically showing everyone that you’re the d******d that got caught.

‘I feel like a caged animal – everyone makes mistakes don’t they? I regret carrying a knife, I regret being in stolen cars.’

Kian, who lives with his mother, sister Lauren and girlfriend Jen, used to do free-running sessions at the local family centre, but they were stopped due to a lack of funding. 

Kian’s story features on a new BBC Three series called Tagged: Life of Lockdown, which follows three young men as they live their lives on electronic tag

Jane says closures like that are going to see ‘more kids ending up on tag’, adding: ‘It’s not really their fault.’

She says she’s proud of her son for sticking to his curfew, and these days Kian uses boxing at a local gym to vent his frustrations.

‘Some days you’ll feel physically drained because you’re that used to being in you won’t want to go out,’ he explains.

‘You just generally want to stay in. Mentally you start getting low moods, your anger gets worse.

‘Loads of people suffer with depression, there’s also different ways to go around it. The way I go around mine is I go to the gym to get my anger out, or wait for someone to push my buttons.

Kian claims he didn’t have any intention of harming anyone with the machete he was carrying when he was caught by police – which he says was a birthday gift from a friend

‘Fighting is not something that I want to do, but fighting’s something I know I’m good at.’ 

When Kian accidentally breaks his tag while riding a bike, he fears dire consequences and faces his first prison sentence. 

His 18-year-old girlfriend Jen is worried he won’t cope with being inside, and is determined to stick by him.

Another story which features on the programme is that of Jordan, 18, from Warrington, who has just got out of prison after going down for stealing a car.

Another story which features on the programme is that of Jordan (pictured), 18, from Warrington, who has just got out of prison after going down for stealing a car

He has to wear a tag for 12 weeks as part of his parole, and brands it his ’24 carat gold ankle bracelet’.

Jordan admits he gets his hair cut every two weeks, adding: ‘You’ve got to look good, always. I’ve got to deter people from looking at my ankle.’

Tagged: Life on Lockdown will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer from Wednesday 4 December.  

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