An estimated 1 in 5 women in Britain will experience some form of stalking in their lifetime, often at the hands of a former partner, but also from old acquaintances, colleagues and other individuals who make their lives a misery through their obsessive behaviour.
That also means hundreds of thousands of women every year having to live with the fear that one day their stalker could become their attacker; one of the many reasons why this crime needs to be treated with the seriousness it deserves.
But at present, that is not happening. In the year ending March 2022, 118,411 offences of stalking were reported to the police. But only 5,948 of those offences led to a charge, a rate of just 5 per cent. That is unacceptable, especially when – in many cases – there is no dispute over the identity of the suspect or what they have done, but only how seriously it is taken.
In December 2022, I spoke out about this issue during Attorney General Questions, and asked ministers to take on board the recommendations of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and other anti-stalking experts on how to curb this source of fear and misery for so many women.
Today in Parliament, I raised the pitiful 5% charge rate in 2021/22 for offences of stalking, and asked ministers to take on board the recommendations of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and other anti-stalking experts on how to curb this source of fear and misery for so many women. pic.twitter.com/0FMJ0NSmVG
— Emily Thornberry (@EmilyThornberry) December 7, 2022