Stalking and Coercive Behaviour

Attorney General – in the House of Commons on 26th May 2022.

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Photo of James Grundy James Grundy Conservative, Leigh

What recent assessment she has made of the CPS’s ability to effectively prosecute cases of (a) stalking and (b) coercive behaviour.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk The Solicitor-General

Stalking and coercive and controlling behaviour are serious crimes which disproportionately harm women. Prosecutions for both have increased in the years since the offences were created. In the case of coercive and controlling behaviour, they have risen from just five in 2015 to 1,403 in 2020-21. I am pleased to say that the conviction rate for domestic abuse cases in the last quarter for which data is available was 76%.

Photo of James Grundy James Grundy Conservative, Leigh

The Government first legislated to deal with stalking and coercive behaviour in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Can my hon. and learned Friend assure me that the Government will continue to prioritise tackling violence against women and girls?

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk The Solicitor-General

My hon. Friend is right. Those are just two elements of violence against women and girls. I am pleased that in the last decade the Government have: outlawed upskirting; criminalised sending revenge porn images; created a standalone offence of non-fatal strangulation; passed the Modern Slavery Act 2015; introduced the Domestic Abuse Act 2021; banned virginity testing and hymenoplasty; and reversed the decision to automatically release sexual offenders at the halfway point of their sentences. Those who commit crimes against women should expect condign punishment.