The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to improve recognition among criminal justice professionals of the difference between stalking and harassment; and whether they are planning to introduce stalking protection orders.
Baroness Williams of Trafford: Stalking and harassment are devastating crimes which can destroy the lives of victims. Since 2012, we have strengthened the law by creating specific stalking offences and raising the maximum sentences for both stalking and harassment from 5 to 10 years. Support for victims requires more than prosecution after the fact – that is why, following a public consultation, we are introducing a new civil stalking protection order. Primary legislation is required to introduce the order and will be taken forward as soon as Parliamentary time allows. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service’s Joint Inspectorate report into stalking and harassment found significant failings in the police and CPS response. The Home Secretary will shortly be holding a meeting with police and CPS leads to ensure coordinated and robust action is taken to respond to the Inspectorate’s findings.