We are delighted that the Stalking Protection Bill has passed its Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons. It now passes on to the House of Lords.
The Stalking Protection Bill is a Private Member's Bill sponsored by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP. It 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. As Victoria Atkins, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, stated in her closing speech for the second reading, these measures will provide the police with a vital additional tool to protect the victims of stalking and to deter perpetrators at the earliest opportunity. The existence of such measures could have made a critical difference in Alice’s case, as in many others.
Today’s debate, like the earlier debates on the Bill, showed that there is strong support for the Bill from both sides of the House. You can also read the complete second-reading debate (January 2018) in Hansard here, and what was said at the Public Bill Committee (July 2018) here.
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. Together with other members of the National Stalking Consortium we will be doing all we can to support the Bill during its passage through the Lords.