Stalking Law Now In Effect

Posted: 26th November 2012

Stalking Law Now in Effect

Victims of stalkers are now protected by tough new laws which make stalking a criminal offence in England and Wales. The offence will now carry a maximum six-month sentence and a fine of up to £5,000 where stalking is proved. Those who create serious distress or a fear of violence can face up to five years in prison.

Although a parliamentary enquiry found that more than 120,000 people were stalked every year, fewer than half that number of incidents were reported to the police and less than 1 in 1,000 reported cases led to the perpetrator being given a custodial sentence.

The new law is intended to offer greater protection to the victims of stalking (mainly women) as public awareness of the offence and its link with violence towards women increases: it represents a belated recognition of the seriousness and prevalence of stalking and the distress it causes.