My Lords, we are dealing with many difficult issues here. I thank the noble Baroness. We will, of course, have further discussions.
Amendment 1 would raise the threshold for commission of the offence from a single instance of the prohibited behaviour to a pattern of behaviour. Given the seriousness of this type of behaviour and the potential harm that can be caused, I cannot agree that the amendment is appropriate. I point out that there is no requirement for there to be a pattern of behaviour in the existing Section 12(1) offence. I therefore do not see a case for adopting a different approach for the new Section 12(1)(a) offence.
I also fear that the amendment would run into similar issues with definition and certainty to those which were raised in the House of Commons in relation to the three clicks element of Clause 3, and which ultimately led to the Government’s removing that provision. For example, how many instances constitute a pattern of behaviour and how far apart can they be?