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Stalking victims ‘not seeing justice’

Stalking victims ‘not seeing justice’

Around 120,000 victims of stalking, most of whom are women, are being left wanting by the criminal justice system every year, a trade union has claimed.

Of the total number of victims, just 53,000 are actually recorded by police as crimes. And of these, only one in every 50 ever lead to someone being imprisoned for stalking.

Only those deemed to exhibit violent behaviour are eventually put in jail, according to Napo which represents probation and family court staff.

The union's assistant general secretary, Harry Fletcher, said: "Unless stalking laws are reformed and therefore treated seriously, women will continue to be assaulted, psychologically harmed and even murdered."

Laura Richards, a Protection Against Stalking psychologist, said: "Too often the pattern of stalking behaviour and the escalation is missed by professionals – people pay with their lives. It's time for change."

Meanwhile, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has told Labour party conference delegates that she will commit to devising a new law on stalking if the party returns to government.

She said stalking cases escalate into much more dangerous crimes because of a "lack of clarity" in current law.

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