Responding to the news that the maximum sentence for stalking is set to double, APCC Chair Dame Vera Baird QC said:
“The Government’s decision to introduce tougher penalties for stalking is a welcome one. Through the Policing and Crime Bill next week the Government looks set to bring forward amendments to increase the maximum sentence available to courts for stalking offences from five to 10 years and from seven to 14 years if the offence is racially or religiously aggravated.
“Stalking is an extremely serious offence that can shatter the lives of those affected and their families and can take long recovery time because of psychological and emotional impact. It is absolutely right that there are strong provisions in place. Statistics suggest that one in five women and one in 10 men will be affected by stalking in their lifetime.
“Whilst tougher tariffs are important they are only part of a solution. Police and Crime Commissioners will be working closely with their Chief Constables to ensure that they are focusing on tackling stalking and utilising all the powers available to them. Early intervention is key and the proposed stalking orders need to be rolled out as soon as possible so that people can get quick relief without having to go through the often lengthy criminal process.”
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