A new consultation has just been published which proposes the creation of a Stalking Protection Order, designed to offer victims of stalking greater protection.
The Order focuses on what it calls “Stranger Stalking’ – where only a very casual acquaintanceship exists between the perpetrator and the victim. This kind of stalking accounts for around 50% of cases.
The consultation will not be looking at stalking within a domestic violence context, which is currently covered by the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, and Domestic Violence Protection Orders.
The government is particularly keen to hear from the following groups:
- victims of stalking
- organisations representing victims
- the police
- criminal justice practitioners
- frontline workers such as mental health workers
- service providers
- local authorities
You can either respond or contribute to the consultation online, or via email at: VAWGENQUIRIES@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Yesterday Home Secretary Theresa May gave a helpful explanation of the reasons behind the proposal for such an order and further background information on its purpose, in the House of Commons, which you can read here.
The consultation closes on 30th January, 2016 at 11.45pm.
For anyone interested in the legal definitions surrounding stalking and what stalking behaviours constitute criminal offences, the CPS offers good guidance on this.
For information on how to report a stalker, and access support services, click here.