Following amendments to the Protection of Freedom Bill, the promised legislation to make stalking a specific criminal offence is close to becoming a reality. Amendments passed on 19 March will introduce new sections in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 to create two separate offences of stalking.
One, under a new s2A will be a lower level offence of stalking causing fear or alarm. The second, under s4A, is a more serious offence of stalking causing either a fear of violence or serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on someone’s daily activities.
The offence under s2A will be triable only in the Magistrates Court while the s4A offence will be triable either way but is expected to be sent to the Crown Court in the majority of cases. Continue reading