The Suzy Lamplugh Trust welcomes the passage into law of the Stalking Protection Act, a crucial piece of legislation which will allow police to act early to protect victims of stalking.

On 15th May 2019, the Government backed Stalking Protection Bill received Royal Assent https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-backed-stalking-protection-bill-receives-royal-assent

Stalking Protection Orders will provide an additional tool to protect victims from abuse, harassment and following before a criminal investigation has concluded. Breaching these orders will incur criminal sanctions, including imprisonment of up to five years. This is a significant strengthening of the protections currently available. The orders can also prohibit perpetrators from certain behaviours, and mandate that they take positive steps such as attending programmes which aim to prevent reoffending. Suzy Lamplugh Trust hopes that these orders will provide an important tool to keep victims safer, and tackle stalking and its associated obsession and fixation at an earlier stage. 

However, in order to be as effective as possible in preventing harm to victims, stalking protection orders must be accompanied by guidance and training for police forces. It is important for frontline police to understand the threat posed by stalkers, and the importance of looking at their pattern of repeated behaviour rather than only considering each incident individually. It is also essential that, where there is a course of conduct of stalking, the new SPOs are not used as a substitute for investigation and the bringing of charges under the legislation. 

Suzy Lamplugh Trust is calling for training for police forces in how to support victims of stalking and ensure that cases are addressed effectively to prevent further harms caused by perpetrators of stalking. 

During National Stalking Awareness Week in April this year, Suzy Lamplugh Trust is holding a conference focusing on the health impacts of stalking, which are devastating for victims. More details and tickets are available here: https://www.suzylamplugh.org/event/stalking-a-public-health-issue