Leads respond to stalking super complaint
APCC Leads response to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust super complaint on stalking
Donna Jones and Sophie Linden, APCC Joint Victims Leads, said:
“This complaint raises some significant and deeply concerning issues with the way police are identifying, investigating, and responding to stalking.
“Stalking is an extremely serious offence that can destroy the lives of those affected and their families. The emotional and psychological impact of this crime cannot be underestimated, and it is vital that police have the tools to be able to identify and recognise the significant harm this crime causes to victims and respond robustly.
“As Police and Crime Commissioners, we are committed to holding Chief Constables to account for the service they deliver to the public and victims of crime. We will be monitoring the progress of this super complaint closely and alongside our national partners, will carefully consider any recommendations as a result. System-wide improvements must be made if we are to ensure that we are effectively safeguarding vulnerable victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.”
Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner and National Stalking Lead, said:
“It is disappointing that, after ten years of stalking legislation, the law and all the tools available to police are not being used consistently or to their fullest extent. Almost every week we hear about victims of stalking saying they reported incidents to police repeatedly but they did not receive an appropriate response.
“Stalking is still, it seems, a Cinderella crime for some forces. For too many police officers, it fails to register as a serious pattern of obsessive and corrosive behaviour that ruins lives and can end up with fatal consequences.
“Although there are beacons of good and even excellent practice across the country, victims of stalking often face a postcode lottery as to whether they will be listened to and protected. The police need to ensure that they are proactive at all times in regards to stalking so victims feel confident enough to report the horrors they are enduring and our criminal justice system needs to work harder to secure more convictions.
“I fear that, without change, more and more victims will fall silent due to lack of confidence in the police and the wider criminal justice system. My earnest hope also is that victims of stalking will not have their confidence in authorities shaken as an unintended consequence of this Super Complaint. We do not want them to be deterred from reporting in the first instance.”