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Police get new powers to tackle stalkers earlier

Credit: PA

Police will get new powers to tackle stalking thanks to a new legislation.

The Stalking Protection Order (SPO) will give Hampshire Constabulary and its partners the powers they need to intervene in cases of stalking.

SPOs will allow police to apply to the courts for an order to impose restrictions on offenders. These restrictions could range from the offender having to stay away from their victim, to having to attend a rehabilitation programme. Breaching the order will be a criminal offence, carrying a jail sentence of up to five years.

Hampshire is the only multi-agency stalking clinic in the country, seeing police work with probation, mental health practitioners, the Crown Prosecution Service and a dedicated stalking advocate. With these new orders we will be able to intervene even earlier as the orders also allow for requirements to be placed on offenders, such as attending rehabilitation programmes or seek treatment for mental health issues. This gives us a vital opportunity to reduce the risk of offences continuing.

If anyone thinks they may be a victim of stalking I would encourage them to seek help. Victims will be assigned a dedicated victim advocate who works with us and the victim and can support them throughout the process. Please be reassured that we are here to help you.”

– Detective Chief Inspector Tim Rowlandson