To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to strengthen legislation to improve protections for victims of stalking and their families.
3 March 2021
Stalking is a terrible, insidious crime that can have a devastating impact on victims’ wellbeing. This Government is committed to protecting and supporting victims and is determined to do everything we can to stop perpetrators at the earliest opportunity.
The Government has significantly strengthened the law to improve protection for victims of stalking. In 2012 we created two stalking offences to highlight stalking as a specific behaviour and through the Policing and Crime Act 2017 the maximum sentence for the offence of stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress was raised from five to ten years’ imprisonment.
In January 2020 we introduced new civil Stalking Protection Orders. These enable early police intervention, pre-conviction, to address stalking behaviours before they become deep-rooted or escalate. Stalking Protection Orders can be used in relation to any type of stalking and have the flexibility to impose both restrictions and positive requirements on the perpetrator. A breach of this order has a criminal penalty, carrying a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.