On November 14, the Home Office launched an online consultation asking for views on how best to tackle this crime and provide protection for victims. The Government is asking whether specific offences of ‘stalking’ and ‘cyber stalking’ should be added to existing harassment laws and what training and guidance is needed for police and prosecutors.
The Home Office said that they are particularly interested in hearing from those with direct experience – victims, police and the courts.
Home Secretary Theresa May said, “I have been clear that ending violence against women and girls is a personal priority for me and this government.
“I am determined to ensure that victims of stalking have the protection and support they need. That’s why we are listening to victims and looking at the legislation to make sure we have got it right.
“We are also making sure that the police and law enforcement agencies understand clearly how to use existing powers to intervene early and prevent the terrible suffering and distress that victims of stalking experience.”
Speaking in Manchester, at the first of four regional events taking place on stalking, Minister for Equalities and Criminal Information, Lynne Featherstone said: ‘Stalking is an issue which profoundly affects many lives, often in devastating ways.
“That is why we included stalking as a priority in our report ‘Call To End Violence Against Women and Girls’, last autumn. And that is why we followed this up with specific actions to improve our response to this issue this spring.
‘That is also why I am launching this consultation today to ask for your views on how we can protect victims of stalking more effectively.”
Will Murray, Skyguard’s Marketing Director commented “One in five women and one ten men are victims of stalking over a lifetime, so it’s a widescale problem in our society. Many stalking victims have to face a series of verbal and physical abuse which can last years and result in life-threatening incidents.
“Skyguard already works with numerous police forces across the UK to protect some of their most vulnerable individuals such as stalking victims, with great success. Our service has been proven to deliver peace of mind to the individual and lead to a number of prosecutions – it really makes a difference to people’s live and very quickly.”
The online consultation runs for the next twelve weeks – contribute here.