Campaigners Welcome Independent Inquiry into Stalking Law Reform
Protection Against Stalking (PAS) and Napo the Probation and Family Court Trade Union welcome and endorse the report of the Independent Inquiry into Stalking Law Reform which was launched today, Tuesday 7th February 2012, in the House of Lords.
PAS and Napo acted as advisors to the inquiry which was established in June 2011 with all Party support. Central to the inquiry was evidence from victims who all felt badly let down by the criminal justice system.
The report has concluded that there is an urgent need for an offence of stalking to be introduced into the law in England and Wales similar to that enacted in Scotland in December 2010. In addition the report calls for fundamental changes to training, the establishment of a Victims’ Advocacy Scheme and for the treatment of offenders.
Figures from Scotland show that during 2011 435 stalking incidents were reported to police and of those 321 progressed to the Procurator Fiscal. Prior to the introduction of stalking laws in Scotland individuals suspected of stalking were charged under Breach of the Peace legislation. In the decade from 2000 just 70 individuals were charged.
Laura Richards of PAS said: “The Independent Parliamentary Inquiry has placed the voices of all those who have been affected by this insidious and life destroying behaviour at the centre of their Inquiry, and for that, we are thankful. Stalking is not a new phenomenon – cases are more common than people think and more dangerous than is currently appreciated - and it is only set to increase, particularly given technological advances. It is time we recognised stalking as a crime, along with ensuring professionals are adequately trained, that specialist advocates are available to support victims and that perpetrators are put before the courts and treated for it. Only when these measures are in place will early identification and intervention occur resulting in lives being saved.”
Harry Fletcher, Assistant General Secretary of Napo, said “Scotland has named stalking as a crime. The figures from 2011 reveal a massive rise in the number of prosecutions. If police, probation and prison officers in England and Wales knew that an individual before them had been convicted of stalking they would take into account that conduct and take measures to prevent the stalking behaviour continuing. The report is very timely and is published as the Home Office consultation concluded on 5 February.”
Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Stalking Law Reform February 2012
Main Findings and Recommendations
Access the full Parliamentary Inquiry Report here.
Justice at last for Claire as stalker is jailed for 2 years
“You have plagued her life and you have literally ruined it. You have mentally terrorised her over many, many years and her life will never be and can never be the same. Your actions have not just affected her - they have impacted on her family, her children and her friends, so widespread and calculating has your behaviour been”.
Judge Ian Darling
Follow this link to read the full story
Claire Waxman to receive £3,500 in damages after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped a charge against her stalker
Here is a link to the judgement on Claire's case-
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