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Stalking

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 3rd November 2014.

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Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been convicted under the provisions of section 4a of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997; and how many such people received a custodial sentence.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been convicted under the provisions of section 2A of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997; and how many such people received a custodial sentence.

Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The stalking offences under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, sections 2A (stalking) and 4A (stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress), have been available from 25 November 2012. The section 2A offence has a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine, and the section 4A offence has a maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment.

The number of people convicted under sections 2A and 4A in 2012 and 2013 and those receiving custodial sentence can be viewed at the table below.

Defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty and sentenced to immediate custody at all courts of offences under Sections 2A and 4A of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, England and Wales, 2012 to 20131,2,3

Section of Act

Outcome

2012

2013

Section 2A4

Proceeded against

8

293

Found guilty

2

196

Sentenced

2

192

Of which:

Immediate custody

0

35

Of which:

up to 12 months

0

35

12 to 24 months

0

0

over 24 months

0

0

Section 4A5

Proceeded against

0

154

Found guilty

0

53

Sentenced

0

42

Of which:

Immediate custody

0

14

Of which:

up to 12 months

0

10

12 to 24 months

0

4

over 24 months

0

0

1 The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. 2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. 3 The number of offenders sentenced can differ from those found guilty as it may be the case that a defendant found guilty in a particular year, and committed for sentence at the Crown Court, may be sentenced in the following year. 4 Pursue course of conduct in breach of S.1(1) of the Act which amounts to stalking. 5 Stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm and distress. Note: Offences introduced 25 November 2012. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

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