Government U-turn on stalking is good news for victims, says Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd.
Ministers have announced that the maximum sentence for stalking is to double to ten years – despite previously opposing the move.
“Stalking is not a ‘celebrity’ issue – it is a nasty form of abuse that has a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of victims every year.
“Tougher punishments for perpetrators is good news for victims and sends a strong message that as a society we will not tolerate this crime. It is an additional tool for the criminal justice system to deter this type of crime, while instilling confidence in victims that they will be taken seriously.
“We also need to increase public understanding of stalking and harassment and make sure the right support is in place to help victims while dispelling some of the myths and misconceptions.”
Last year, Tony commissioned a report to better understand the extent of stalking and harassment in Greater Manchester and identify any gaps in victim support. It is due to published early this year.
The government is expected to bring in the changes in an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill which will be debated in the House of Commons next week.
The Greater Manchester Victims’ Services website provides information and practical advice for victims and survivors of crime. If you’ve been affected by stalking, you can find help and information at www.gmvictims.org.uk/stalking.