Amendment 292N

Part of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - Committee (11th Day) – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 24th November 2021.

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Photo of Lord Paddick Lord Paddick Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 6:15 pm, 24th November 2021

My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Russell of Liverpool, for moving Amendment 292N on behalf of the noble Baroness, Lady Newlove; I wish her well.

Victims of stalking, including female Members of Parliament, are being failed, as the noble Baroness has just said. As the noble Lord, Lord Russell, set out in his opening speech, there were 892,000 victims of stalking in the year to March 2020, according to the crime survey. The noble Lord pointed out the findings of the HMICFRS report on violence against women and girls regarding the inconsistent approach across different police forces to stalking protection orders; that the majority of orders had no positive obligation on the perpetrator; and that officers in force areas were unaware that the perpetrators were even subject to the orders, so there was no enforcement of the orders.

There is clearly a need to address perpetrator behaviour, in addition to protecting victims. My noble friend Lady Brinton said—and I agree—that stalking is not being taken seriously enough. That is as much a cultural issue for the police and courts as it is for society as a whole. There is clearly a need for a stalking strategy to ensure a consistent and effective response from all the authorities involved, as the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, just said—not just the criminal justice system but charities and others that offer services to address the behaviour of offenders. We support this amendment.