Two new laws to protect the victims of stalking came into force this week, alongside a package of other measures designed to tackle violence against women and girls.
The Home Office estimates that one in five women, and one in ten men, will be affected by stalking at some point in their lives. The new offences of stalking and stalking involving a fear of violence were introduced through the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Police and prosecutors have been given specific guidance and training on stalking, as well as new powers of entry to secure evidence.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, said: “Stalking is a sickening and cowardly crime. Too many women live in fear, forced to look constantly over their shoulder. We need to end their suffering. That is why we are acting now.
“These new laws send a clear message that stalking will not be tolerated. This shows just how serious we are about tackling violence against women. Our priority is the victims and we will do all we can to protect them. Stalkers will not get away with it. They must be dragged out of the shadows and brought to justice”.
Greg Hands M.P. added: “Stalking is abhorrent. It is a crime that shatters the lives of its victims, and for too long it went untackled. This Government will not stand by and see people’s lives ruined.
“These new laws are very welcome. They will help bring peace of mind to victims in Chelsea and Fulham and across the country”.