Tag Archives: stalking

The Value of PCCs

On Monday, 16th April, Suzy Lamplugh Trust launched a report looking at the police response to stalking in England and Wales.

Stalking is a devastating crime, affecting 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men across their lifetime.  Victims can develop anxiety, depression and agoraphobia; 50 per cent of victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder.  Many victims feel so concerned or fearful about what is happening that they feel the need to change their behaviour to feel safer, including not going out in public, reducing social outings, and moving home.

The report released on Monday is a repeat of research completed two years ago looking at recorded crime figures, and Police and Crime Commissioner funding for specialist services for the 1.1 million people who experience stalking every year in England and Wales.  Indeed, Police and Crime Commissioners have access to a £68 million funding pot from the Ministry of Justice specifically to fund practical and emotional support services for victims in their area.  Just 0.25% of that funding is spent on supporting victims of this nuanced and complex crime.

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Baroness Sal Brinton writes: Stalking law reform is needed now

Last month in the House of Lords I hosted the launch of the People’s Enquiry into Stalking Law Reform. I was also a member of the all-party Independent Parliamentary Inquiry, which took evidence from victims and bereaved parents of murdered victims (including Clare Bernal who was shot dead in Harvey Nichols in 2005 by her stalker, Michael Pech); probation officers; police; magistrates and others in the criminal justice system. I was invited to join the Inquiry because of my own experiences, which I have spoken of in the debate on the need for stalking reform.

What became clear to us during the Inquiry is that the present law is just not working for these victims and their families. The Harassment Act is used equally for neighbourhood hedge disputes as it is for murderous stalkers, and the penalties available to a court are ridiculously inappropriate. Much more importantly, the culture within the criminal justice system needs to change. We’ve seen that start to happen with domestic violence, but not about stalking which is often perceived as a fuss about nothing. Worse, some police have told victims they should be glad of the attention!

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Lynne Featherstone to propose stalking – in person or online – to be made an offence

Lib Dem equalities minister Lynne Featherstone is in the news for examining proposals to make the specific offence of stalking a criminal offence. The Independent reports:

Stalkers are to face jail under government plans to create a new criminal offence after prosecutors admitted it was hard to bring cases to court.

Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat Home Office minister, on a visit to Manchester, unveil proposals to introduce a specific offence of stalking, potentially also covering cyber-stalking. A three-month consultation will also look at the use of restraining orders and police attitudes to stalking cases, following concern that the treatment

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