Rudd sets out stalking order plans

VICTIMS of stalkers will be offered stronger protection through new protection orders in plans to be set out by Home Secretary Amber Rudd today.

Amber Rudd visited the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which runs the National Stalking Helpline

The orders are designed to help victims in the period when the problem is identified but before their stalker is convicted.

Ms Rudd: “Stalking can have devastating consequences and I am determined that we do all we can to protect victims from these prolonged and terrifying campaigns of abuse that can last years, leaving many people too afraid to leave their homes and unable to get on with their lives.

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“Four years ago this Government created specific stalking offences to ensure those responsible face justice. Today I want to go even further and offer protection at the first signs of stalking, stopping offenders in their tracks.”

Police will be able to apply to the courts for a ‘stalking protection order’ which could include restrictions on how close the person can be to their victim or limiting their internet use.

The orders could also be used to force stalkers to seek help for mental health or other issues.

Anyone found guilty of breaching order could be sent to prison for up to five years.

There have been 2,000 prosecutions since stalking laws were introduced four years ago.

The Government is also promising £15m to support initiatives to combat violence against women and girls.

New guidelines have also been published by the Home Office on the issue.