Campaigns & Research Stalking What is the Stalking Protection Bill? On 19th January 2018, the Stalking Protection Bill, sponsored by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, will have its Second Reading in Parliament. This Bill will introduce Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) to improve the safety of stalking victims. What will Stalking Protection Orders do? The Orders will improve the safety of all stalking victims by giving police the authority to address the danger that perpetrators pose while they gather more evidence. Unlike other measures that are currently being applied to stalking cases, such as Police Information Notices (PINs), these Orders will be designed to address specific issues related to the crime. SPOs will allow police to apply to restrict perpetrators actions, for example stopping them from contacting or getting to close to their victim. They could even require stalkers to be psychologically assessed or to attend rehabilitation programmes to help prevent reoffending. Importantly, there will be criminal consequences when these Orders are breached, with perpetrators facing up to five year’s imprisonment. Why do we need Stalking Protection Orders? Stalking is a devastating crime that can affect anyone; it is vital that victims receive appropriate support when they report concerns, and that criminal justice professionals can act to protect victims. It is crucial that police officers can use specially designed and immediately effective legislation to protect victims from their stalker. We know that early intervention in stalking cases is important to break the cycle of obsession and fixation. By recognising stalking behaviours and enforcing prohibitive measures to stop them, frontline officers can protect victims at the earliest possible stage. How do we want to see Stalking Protection Orders used? We want the police to be obliged to use an SPO whenever they suspect stalking is taking place. We hope that this obligation will mean that stalking is taken seriously, and that the responsibility of making decisions about stalking perpetrators will be taken away from victims. Stalking Protection Orders will allow police officers to restrict suspected stalkers and be decisive when trying to protect victims. We do not wish to see these Orders replace criminal convictions. It is vital that this legislation is used in the short-term to give stalking victims more protection while information and evidence is collected. We believe that the introduction of this new legislation must be supported by appropriate training for police officers. All criminal justice professionals must be able to recognise concerning patterns of behaviours and the malicious intent that accompanies stalking. You can read our full recommendations in our consultation response here. Support our campaign! To get this Bill through the House of Commons, at least 100 MPs must support it. Please join us in asking your MP to vote in favour of the Stalking Protection Bill so that we can make victims of this crime safer. Download our SPO letter template here.