The home secretary has announced her intention to introduce new Stalking Protection Orders which will help protect victims at the earliest possible stage. The Right Honourable Amber Rudd MP made the announcement as part of a package of government measures to prevent violence against women and girls.
She announced plans for the new Orders, designed to intervene early to keep victims safe and stop “stranger stalking” before it escalates, after visiting the National Stalking Helpline.
Responding to the government’s announcement of anti-stalking measures, End Violence Against Women coalition co-director Sarah Greenford said “We welcome the government’s move to protect women from stalkers the new provisions are a useful addition to the tool kit. But, our members have raised concerns as to why strangers who stalk and breach this Order will face criminal sanctions, while there is still no provision for breaches of Domestic Violence Protection Orders. This gap in protection puts women at risk as perpetrators of domestic violence continue to be a threat and exert control over them”.
Home secretary Amber Rudd said
“Stalking can have devastating consequences and I am determined that we do all we can to protect victims from these prolonged and terrifying campaigns of abuse that can last years, leaving many people too afraid to leave their homes and unable to get on with their lives”.
The new Orders will offer additional protection at an early stage for anyone who has not been in an intimate relationship with their stalker, helping those targeted by strangers, acquaintances or colleagues, as well as professionals such as doctors who may be targeted by patients.
They are being announced four years after the stalking offences came into effect in November 2012. There have already been 2000 prosecutions under the new offences. The new Orders will provide additional protection against stalking before a perpetrator’s behaviour becomes entrenched and will help keep victims safe, including while evidence is collated prior to a prosecution.
Although the new stalking provisions give a higher protection to non-intimate relationships, anyone within an intimate relationship whether it be married persons, partners living together, ex-cohabitees or family members can apply under the Family Law Act 1996 for Injunction Orders through the courts. Breach of a Non-Molestation Order in a family court is an imprisonable offence. If anyone feels that they are in imminent danger then at Stephens Scown Solicitors we normally are available to make emergency applications to the court that day and have arrangements with local process servers so that the application can be dealt with and served upon the Respondent to that application the same day. We can also discuss with you your eligibility for Legal Aid.
If you would like to contact our team about any family law matter, then please call 01726 74433 or email email@example.com.