IOPC report published
The IOPC have published their report into the police's handling of Alice’s case prior to her murder in October 2016. The report is thorough and we are satisfied with its acknowledgement that mistakes were made. This is essential if lessons are to be learned.
Many victims of stalking do not realise the danger they are in. By raising awareness of the seriousness of stalking, the Alice Ruggles Trust strives to encourage victims to go to the police as soon as stalking behaviour becomes apparent. It is crucial that the police then act appropriately and decisively. In particular:
- Stalking is a crime and perpetrators need to be arrested and charged with it.
- No victim of stalking should be made to feel they are wasting police time or ever be asked "What do you want us to do about it?"
- In stalking cases, breach of a restraining order must result in immediate arrest or other effective action to minimise the risk.
- Serial stalkers need to be identified and links made immediately to previous offences against different victims.
We are pleased that several police forces including Northumbria are now making improvements to their procedures and implementing training packages, a number of them making reference to Alice’s story. But there is still a great deal of work to be done, and we will only know that there is real change when we see improvements in the statistics months and years down the line.