It is National Stalking Awareness Week, and Hertfordshire Constabulary and Neighbourhood Watch are taking the opportunity to inform you that new laws and new services mean that victims of stalking in Hertfordshire can receive more support than ever before.
The Stalking Protection Bill passed by Parliament last month introduced Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) which will be available to courts to prevent so-called ‘stranger stalking’ by imposing restrictions on perpetrators to stop their behaviour. Police will be able to apply for SPOs on behalf of victims and the perpetrator will be committing a crime if they breach them. The introduction of SPOs means police can impose the threat of criminal sanctions on perpetrators, assisting them to protect victims of stalking sooner and reduce the risk of harm against them.
Also launched recently is a new service in Hertfordshire providing help and support for victims of stalking. Six new Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers (ISACs) will be working in the county providing a range of services.
Iain MacBeath, director of Adult Care Services at Hertfordshire County Council, said: ‘Stalking is a terrifying crime which has a major impact on victims. We welcome the new ISAC service and the spotlight that National Stalking Week shines on this important issue. We actively encourage anyone affected by stalking to trust your instincts, keep a diary of what’s happening to you and report it to police or seek advice and help from our local specialist agencies and services.’
To access Safer Places’ ISAC services call 03301 025811 (24/7) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victims of stalking can get advice from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust by calling the national stalking helpline (free from most telephones) on 0808 802 0300 or through their website.
Anyone affected by domestic abuse in Hertfordshire can get guidance and support via the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline 08 088 088 088 or via the Herts Sunflower website.