Stalking victims 'still being failed by police'

 

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 25 November 2013 01:00
Barely 30 per cent of police officers have seen training packages on the new stalking law despite its implementation a year ago
Barely 30 per cent of police officers have seen training packages on the new stalking law despite its implementation a year ago

Less than a third of police officers have received training on the new stalking law despite its implementation a year ago, as campaigners say the forces are letting down victims by ignoring “obsessive and fixated” behaviour.

Since the Protection of Freedoms Act was passed 12 months ago, the national stalking advocacy service Paladin claims the police are still reluctant to intervene in stalking cases, and instead often ask victims “What do you want me to do?” or “Do you want us to arrest them of give them a warning?”

Paladin said less than 30 per cent of police officers have seen the designated e-learning packages on the new law, claiming that a number of cases have been identified in which perpetrators have been inappropriately arrested and charged under harassment – which has more lenient punishment – rather than stalking legislation.

Out of the 320 people arrested in the first six months under the new law in England and Wales, only 189 have been charged, while 27 received a conviction and only six served jail time.

Paladin claims these numbers are extremely low when compared to reporting and conviction rates of stalking in Scotland. In the thirty months since the law was introduced there, Scottish authorities have recorded 1,431 detections, of which 1,046 had commenced prosecution.

Paladin launched its advocacy service in July this year and said that within 18 weeks it had received more than 100 referrals.

The body said “too many victims have already paid with their lives,” referencing the case of Caroline Parry who was stalked and shot dead by an ex-partner in Gwent in August this year.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in