Stalking to be made a criminal offence
Published: 23 November 2012
- 23 November 2012
Stalking can make victims feel constantly anxious and afraid
Stalking will be made a specific criminal offence from this Sunday (25 November) in England and Wales.
The government will introduce two new offences – stalking, and stalking where there is a fear of violence. The change will be made under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
Javed Khan, Chief Executive of Victim Support said: "We welcome this change to the law. Stalking doesn't just affect celebrities, it can be a living nightmare for ordinary people too.
"Recognising stalking as a crime sends a powerful message to stalkers that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. It also gives victims the reassurance that they will be taken seriously.
"Now the police and other criminal justice agencies need to work together to make sure people know stalking is a crime – and encourage victims to come forward rather than to live in silence."
Campaigners have long claimed dealing with stalking under existing harassment laws is inadequate. In Scotland stalking was made an offence in 2010.
Find out more about stalking and harassment.