STALKING IS A CRIME

On 25th November 2012 the law for stalking was introduced in England and Wales. Sam Taylor, co-founder of Veritas played an important part in the parliamentary Stalking Law Reform campaign. Sam gave compelling evidence before parliamentarians of her experiences during the terrifying 4 years of stalking that she suffered at the hands of her ex-partner and unbeknown to her had a significant history of offending. Her experience encompassed a wide range of issues that victims encounter in their ordeal, which continues to inform the development of our training.

Click Here to open our ‘Stalking and the law’ info guide. (requires Microsoft Word)

CPS and ACPO Protocol in charging and prosecuting stalking related offences: cps.gov.uk/publications/agencies/stalking_protocol.pdf

Interim CPS Guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media: cps.gov.uk/consultations/social_media_consultation.html

Guidance on prosecutions involving social media: cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/communications_sent_via_social_media/index.html

Cyber and Digital: A Shorthand Guide: paladinservice.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Digital-and-Cyber-Stalking-Toolkit-2013.pdf

Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment and Honour Based Violence Risk Identification Checklist: dashriskchecklist.co.uk/uploads/V-DASH 2010-2015.pdf

WHAT IS STALKING?

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Stalking is defined as a pattern of repeat and persistent behaviour that is intrusive and engenders fear. One person becomes fixated or obsessed with another and the attention is unwanted. Stalking behaviour can be seen as unwanted communications, which are anything from telephone calls and various types of messaging to sending gifts or leaving graffiti.

There are also unwanted intrusions, which include waiting for, spying on, approaching and entering a person’s home. Additionally the stalker may make complaints to legitimate bodies, use the Internet to facilitate their campaign (Cyber stalk), or make threats, damage property or even use violence.

Even if there is no threat Stalking is still a crime.

STALKING – ASK FOR HELP | LORRAINE

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT STALKING

Stalking is life changing.  It is frequently devastating for victims, their families and friends.  Survivors could experience, emotional, physical and psychological injuries that could have a long lasting effect.

  • Many stalkers will devote a considerable amount of time to their stalking campaign and the stalking could last for years
  • Data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales shows up to 700, 000 women are stalked each year (2009-12) although the British Crime Survey (2006) estimated 5 million people experience stalking each year but there are no official statistics on the percentage cyberstalked.
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will experience staking in their adult life (Homicides, Firearm offences and intimate violence 2009/10; Supplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales 2009/10 2nd Home Office Statistical Bulletin 01/11)
  • Office for National Statistics (2013) stated it was 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men. We still believe this to be grossly underestimated.
  • In 2013/14 CPS figures reveal that 743 stalking offences were prosecuted whereas 9,792 were prosecuted for harassment out of the 61 175 allegations recorded by police. Therefore only 1% of cases of stalking and 16% of cases of harassment recorded by the police result in a charge and prosecution by the CPS (Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service, 2015).
  • Research reveals that only 11% (n=33) of stalkers received an immediate custodial sentence for Section 2a stalking and just 9% (n=14) for a Section 4a stalking offence in 2013 (Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service, 2015).
  • Victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th Incident (Sheridan, 2005).
  • 50% of victims have curtailed or stopped work due to stalking (Pathe and Mullen 1997)
  • The Workplace Violence Research Institute found that 90% of corporate security professionals had handled 3 or more incidents of men stalking women in the workplace and claimed stalking was related to homicide in 15% of cases (Smock and Kuennen, 2002).
  • 75% of domestic violence stalkers will turn up at the workplace.
  • 79% of domestic violence stalker will use the work resources to target the victims.
  • 1 in 2 domestic stalkers, if they make a threat, will act on it (MacKenzie, McEwan, Pathé, James, Ogloff, & Mullen, 2009).
  • 1 in 10 stalkers, who had no prior relationship, if they make a threat will act on it (MacKenzie, McEwan, Pathé, James, Ogloff, & Mullen, 2009).
  • Statistics show that the majority of victims (80.4%) are female while the majority of perpetrators (70.5%) are male. (National Stalking Helpline, 2011).
  • The Metropolitan Police Service found that 40% of the victims of domestic homicides had also been stalked (ACPO Homicide Working Group, 2003).

The new wave of social media communications can facilitate these devastating campaigns and stalkers may use different identities and profiles to keep their victims under surveillance.

STALKING – THE CASE FOR EXTENDING THE MAXIMUM PENALTY
BY ALEX CHALK (MP FOR CHELTENHAM) & RICHARD GRAHAM (MP FOR GLOUCESTER)

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You can download the report “STALKING – THE CASE FOR EXTENDING THE MAXIMUM PENALTY” written by Alex Chalk, the Member of Parliament for Cheltenham and by Richard Graham, the Member of Parliament for Cheltenham by clicking the link below.

Stalking Report by Alex Chalk and Richard Graham

REMEMBER

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“There is still limited knowledge, awareness and education about stalking, even though the problem is getting bigger. Many people and agencies, including law enforcement, still do not fully understand stalking and harassment behaviours and the risks.

They may not understand how frightening it is when it is happening to you. Many will expect to see physical violence and think it is not so serious until this happens. However, a lot of the stalking behaviour is about coercive control and jealous surveillance i.e. psychological abuse/violence. This does not make it any less dangerous”. (Protection Against Stalking)