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New stalking law introduced

In England and Wales, stalking has become a specific offence in a bid to improve safety for victims.

The government has introduced two offences: stalking and stalking involving fear of violence.

Dealing with stalking under the existing harassment laws was labelled as inadequate by campaigners, and this new move follows Scotland who made stalking an offence in 2010.

Earlier this year, a parliamentary inquiry found that around 120,000 people every year become victims of stalking, most of them are women.

Only 53,000 incidents are recorded as crime by police, and only 1 in 50 of these reports lead to an offender being sentenced to prison.

Swain & Co.’s domestic violence and family lawyers say that this is a positive move as harassment and intimidation can often turn into murder.

The new stalking law carries a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment and stalking involving violence or serious distress carries a maximum of 5 years imprisonment.

The government is hoping that by adding these specific offences related to stalking greater clarity around the offence for the police and others who look to improve the safety of victims will be achieved, plus bring perpetrators to justice.

The calls for this reform came after a series of cases which involved stalkers who went on to kill. This included the case of Clifford Mills who stalked his ex-girlfriend, Lorna Smith on social media before stabbing her to death in his flat.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 21 years after he was found guilty of murder.

                                                                                                                                                                               

Don’t suffer in silence.

Stalking and domestic abuse are unacceptable, and no one should have to endure it.

Swain & Co.’s family law and domestic violence lawyers have a drop in service every weekday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm at 3-5 South Street, Havant – you can get help as soon as you walk in.

We also know that you many need help out of office hours, so have an emergency text and phone line operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

So drop in, call or text us to get the help, support and advice you need:

Call us on 02392 492967

Or text/call the emergency line 24/7 on 07435 969798

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