The Stalking Protection Bill, a Private Member's Bill sponsored by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, passed its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday January 19th and now passes on to the Committee stage.
The Bill aims to introduce measures called Stalking Protection Orders to protect victims when they report a stalking crime to the police, without putting the onus on the victim to apply for them. Importantly, breaching such an order would be a serious criminal offence that should result in immediate action by the police. The existence of such measures could have made a critical difference in Alice’s case, as in many others.
In a short but well informed debate, there was strong support for the Bill from both sides of the House. As Victoria Atkins, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, stated in her closing speech, it will provide the police with a vital additional tool to protect the victims of stalking and to deter perpetrators at the earliest opportunity. You can read the complete debate in Hansard.
The Alice Ruggles Trust believes that if this Bill becomes law it will represent an important step forward towards bringing about lasting change that really will help stop what happened to Alice happening to others in the future.