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The Stalking Protection Act 2019

Posted On: [03/09/2021]

This new Act provides stalking protection orders. These are civil orders available on application by a chief officer of police to the magistrate’s court. They are bespoke orders, which can be positive (requirements) or negative (prohibitions) in nature, and they are designed to give that much-needed protection – especially where there is the risk of the stalking escalating – by allowing police and the courts to step in at an earlier stage. If the civil order is breached it would be a criminal offence – with a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison.

A magistrates’ court may make a stalking protection order if satisfied that:

(a) the defendant has carried out acts associated with stalking,

(b) the defendant poses a risk associated with stalking to another person, and

(c) the proposed order is necessary to protect another person from such a risk.

A magistrates’ court may include a prohibition or requirement in a stalking protection order only (our emphasis) if satisfied that the prohibition or requirement is necessary to protect the other person from a risk associated with stalking.

Prohibitions or requirements must, so far as practicable, be such as to avoid (our emphasis):

(a) conflict with the defendant’s religious beliefs, and

(b) interference with any times at which the defendant normally works or attends an educational establishment.

An order can prohibit a defendant from:

  • entering certain locations or defined areas where the victim resides or frequently visits (such as the victim’s workplace);
  • contacting the victim by any means, including via telephone, post, email, SMS text message or social media; or
  • physically approaching the victim, at all or within a specified distance.

An order can also require the defendant to do something, such as:

  • attending a perpetrator intervention programme;
  • attending a mental health assessment; or
  • participating in a restorative justice process.

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