Stalking Victims Failed says HMIC

5th July 2017

It’s something Network for Surviving Stalking has been saying ever since our founder Tracey Morgan set up the charity 17 years ago but today HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) confirmed it: stalking victims are being failed by the police and prosecutors.

In a hard-hitting and detailed report, Inspectors describe the findings of a comprehensive investigation into the way stalking cases are being dealt with. They found that victims are being let down from start to finish and although there were ‘pockets of good practice’ the picture across the board is grim.

Headline findings include:

  • Lack of understanding of what stalking is
  • Failures to record stalking offences
  • Inappropriate use of Police Information Notices PINS
  • Failures to protect victims by applying for Restraining Orders
  • Not risk assessing victims properly
  • Prosecutors not charging suspects properly – harassment not stalking
  • Lack of proactive investigation that leads to victims not being protected sufficiently

HMIC Inspectors have published a list of recommendations including:

  • PINS be abandoned
  • The police risk management process for stalking is reviewed
  • Improved police and prosecutor training on stalking
  • Changes to the way crime is recorded nationally and locally
  • A review of the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 to define stalking more clearly

Network for Surviving Stalking welcomes the publication of this report and calls for police forces and prosecutors across the country to use the shocking findings within it to drastically improve the way this serious crime is being dealt with. Following the publication of research by Dr Jane Monckton Smith at University of Gloucestershire in April, that highlighted the link between stalking and homicide, it’s absolutely essential for public protection that we recognise the significance of this crime – to quote an enlightened police officer we met recently, “Stalking is a step down from murder and the criminal justice system needs to see it as such.”

Read the full report here: living-in-fear-the-police-and-cps-response-to-harassment-and-stalking




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