To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to monitor the effects of section 2A and 4A of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
31 October 2014
The College of Policing sets standards and provides relevant training products and services to police forces. This includes a College of Policing training package on stalking, which was completed 56,748 times between October 2012 and 30 September 2014 by police officers and staff in England and Wales, and continues to be available.
Neither the College of Policing nor the Home Office holds information which breaks this figure down by the number of police officers and staff in England and Wales that have completed the training.
In 2013-14, 743 prosecutions were commenced under the new stalking legislation. This is a significant increase from 2012-13 and shows that the legislation is taking effect.
We are also working with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to raise awareness and improve professional knowledge.
To ensure prosecutors’ knowledge is continuously refreshed, in April 2014, the CPS launched a specific e-learning module on stalking which focused on victim support, working with the police and ensuring a strong case is built from the start. The College of Policing is also undertaking a review of how stalking incidents are investigated by the police. This will include how the police understand what constitutes a course of conduct in policing, how the police support victims, and further training on the appropriate use of Police Information Notices.
Since April 2014, offences of stalking and harassment are being reported separately in Police Recorded Crime figures. This will allow us to monitor the impact of the legislation more effectively.
Convicted stalkers will already be captured on the Police National Computer. We are working to make better use of existing databases and improve connectivity and information sharing rather than creating new databases or registers for each and every offence.