Wednesday, October 21News For London

Stalkers: BEWARE ! You’re being watched.

Woman unaware that she's being stalked.
Woman unaware that she’s being stalked.

Photo credit – Flickr

Image via-  https://www.flickr.com/photos/o-mer/2103696223

In an attempt to curb stalking, a new court order will be introduced by the Home Office in England and Wales.

 

To address the surge of ‘Stranger Stalking’, the Home Office has planned to introduce a new court order. This kind of stalking is a situation where in the victim is stalked by an acquaintance or by a person whom they have never met.

 

Why is it being introduced?

Due to rise of social media, stalking has become much easier, as the stalker can get information about their object of obsession.

There was no legal definition of stalking. After two specific criminal offences were introduced by the Crown Prosecution Service on 25th November, 2012, there was some clarity on this. The criminal offence more relevant to  stalking would be under section 2A (3) of the Crown Prosecution service – if an individual is spied on, followed and the stalker is forcing contact with the victim, even on social media, it is considered stalking. This curtails the victim’s freedom.

The Home Office stated its concern in the report that a gap may exist in measures available to protect victims of ‘stranger stalking’. So they will introduce a new civil order on 29th December to prevent the feelings of obsession with one person arising, or deter the perpetrator to move onto the next victim.

A victim of stalking, who cannot be named for personal reasons, said : “My ex-boyfriend stalked me after our break-up, despite the fact that I migrated to the other side of the world. He sent me a thousand messages and constantly called me everyday. He wouldn’t stop until I threatened to call the police.”

Stalking often leads to rape, sexual assault and domestic violence stated Paladin, National Stalking Service Agency. The Home office is concerned about the victims of domestic violence, hence, after an eight -week long consultation; they plan to introduce this new court order.

 

What happens to the stalker?

 

The focus of this new court order is to introduce a coercive and controlling behavioural offence, which will deter the stalker said the Home Office.  For this purpose, the stalker, if convicted, will have to undergo a mental assessment programme and anger management. They will also have to pay a fine, or be imprisoned for five years, or in some cases, both.

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What does it mean for the victim?

 The victim will receive police protection, as the police gather evidence on the perpetrator. As females are usually the victims, according to the National Stalking Helpline, a new government strategy on violence against women and girls will be announced next year.

 

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Facts

  • The victims are usually female.
  • The stalkers are usually male.
  • About 1 in every 6 women and and 1 in every 12 men are stalked during their adult life.
  • Victims tend not to report to the police until the 100th  incident.  

 

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