In its paper 'Animal Welfare - Human Rights - Protecting People from Animal Rights Extremists' (July 2004), the Government announced that it wished to strengthen the law to tackle campaigns of harassment by animal rights extremists and create a new offence of protesting outside homes. The purpose of the VPS statement is to: Further information can be found in Victim Personal Statements, elsewhere in the Legal Guidance. In particular, victim's often fear having to face the defendant in the courtroom or may even refuse to be in the same room. (d) the victim moving home; The constable issuing the direction has discretion in deciding how long a person should be required not to return. The order can and sometimes should exceed the custodial period. Has the defendant been previously warned about his behaviour? Requests should be made in accordance with the protocol in those Areas in which it has been implemented. Where the initial police investigation is complete, there may be circumstances in which a charge, caution or prosecution is not possible. In general, where a risk factor is identified, measures should be taken to address that factor. London, SW1H 9EA. Cyberstalking involves the unwanted following of someone’s steps, profiles and activities online, often with intention to harass, intimidate or create a feeling of fear and anxiety on the part of the victim. The youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons…, RT @CPSWestMids: A man who drove on the wrong side of the road when he struck and killed a pedestrian has been jailed for six years and nin…. where the victim(s) is/are a target of a campaign involving domestic extremism (for example, animal rights extremists). (e) loitering in any place (whether public or private), The offence contains four ingredients which need to be proved. Our online tool can offer information on services local to you, the law, as well as tips on how to gather evidence. Prosecutors should consider the full ambit of criminal offending when drafting charges. This means that companies now have the option to take out injunctions against people harassing their employees in the name of the company and will not have to take action in the name of a particular employee. It should also be completed as soon as possible after each event, with all entries timed and dated. A power to search for and seize computers or other electronic equipment that may have been used to commit the offence would potentially strengthen the prosecution case. (c) the victim putting in place additional security measures in their home; create an MG3/3A and an Action Plan with action dates; check that the reverse of the MG11 is filled in and any related MG2 is completed. - Protection against Stalking (formerly The CRT Trust) works jointly with relevant agencies to increase awareness of Stalking and Harassment to ensure victims receive all the protection and help they need to rebuild their lives and live free of fear. The CPS Employee's Guide on Violence Against Women was published in March 2010. This is particularly relevant where historically it has been more difficult to achieve a successful outcome for victims. He has since followed her making fun of her age and mobility problems on two further occasions when she has walked past the house. Section 12 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, as well extending the availability of restraining orders to all offences, provides the court with the power to make a restraining order even when a person has been acquitted, where the court considers it necessary to do so to protect a person from ongoing stalking or harassment from the defendant. The measures are collectively known as 'special measures'. He sent hundreds of e-mails at her work and personal email accounts. There is not a general requirement for the police to refer all cases of stalking and harassment for a charging decision. Cyberstalking could come about following online or offline dating with the victim, or because the victim represents to the cyberstalker something the cyberstalker resents. The introduction and implementation of the DASH (2009) model means that for the first time police forces and a large number of partner agencies across the UK will be using a common checklist to screen for risk. The restraining order is imposed at the time of sentence. that the course of conduct was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime; that it was pursued under any enactment or rule of law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under any enactment; or. If an earlier incident is charged under other legislation (for example, a breach of the peace or an offence contrary to section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986), and a subsequent incident establishes a course of conduct, it may be advisable to withdraw the earlier charge and to substitute a charge under the PHA, covering both incidents. Closely connected groups may also be subjected to 'collective' harassment. Help us to improve our website; let us know Since the correct application of a restraining order can be a significant part in managing the risks to a victim and in preventing further harassment, the investigating officer should provide information about possible conditions for an order as soon as possible. (f) interfering with any property in the possession of a person, A Cocoon Watch is only implemented with the informed consent of the victim. Also prosecutors should be aware that restricting the suspect's ability to stalk or harass a particular victim may have unintended consequences. The defendant Rex and his family who live down the street from her, constantly mock her at her disability. which the defendant knows or ought to know involves harassment of those persons; by which he intends to persuade any person (whether or not one of those mentioned above); not to do something that he is entitled or required to do; or. There may be different motivating factors which prompt the defendant's behaviour. Cocoon Watch should not be implemented where there is any reason to suspect that neighbours and/or family may be party to the stalking or harassment, or if the victim might feel further endangered by neighbours being informed. Factors relating to the suspect may require law enforcement measures or other police action (for example, revocation of a firearm's licence). Organisations such as companies, Government departments or religious institutions may also be subjected to harassment, in furtherance of a political or other aim. There is no law under which to prosecute cyberstalkers If people ignore stalkers, they will get bored and stop If you confront a stalker they will stop It is necessary to prove that the conduct is unacceptable to a degree which would sustain criminal liability, and also must be oppressive (R v Curtis [2010] EWCA 123). Get in touch today for more information, advice and support. The aims of the MARAC are as follows: The role of the MARAC is to facilitate, monitor and evaluate effective information sharing to enable appropriate actions to be taken to increase public safety. It is confirmed as including speech. Even if further harassment has not been prevented, the delivery of the notice could be relevant evidence in the future to prove that an individual knew their conduct amounted to harassment. government's services and The offence now may be punished either as a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment, or as a civil contempt of court as before. This guidance assists our prosecutors when they are making decisions about cases. Primary consideration should be given, when drafting charges, to ensuring that the court has adequate sentencing powers to deal with a defendant in light of the offending behaviour. It is possible that it could be raised as by individuals such as investigative journalists or Neighbourhood Watch members who claim that their activities are for the purpose of detecting or preventing crime. Where possible other agencies should be involved to ensure effective management of risk and generic risk assessment tools which are capable of being used by a multitude of agencies that maybe involved with a victim should be employed. 580 and R v Patel [2005] 1 Cr. When considering such cases, it is important to balance the right to legitimate protest, with the rights of any individual to be free from harassment. introduced in the United Kingdom to address stalking and harassment, with the introduction of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. This means that the police can deal with protestors after the event. In America the first stalking legislation was passed in California in 1990, and by 1999 every other state and the District of Columbia had passed laws … Any relevant comments made by the individual should be recorded in the officer's pocket notebook and the individual should be asked to endorse the record. Published: 29 th July, 2020. to do something that he is not under any obligation to do. Has the defendant been convicted of a stalking offence? Cyber-enabled crimes and the legislation which should be considered when reviewing and charging a cyber-enabled case, and 4. Similarly, bail may be granted by the criminal courts in a way that fails to take account of any existing civil orders. Cases involving stalking and harassment can be difficult to prosecute, and because of their nature are likely to require sensitive handling, especially with regard to victim care. victims should also not to be afraid to inform neighbours, friends and work colleagues (unless they suspect that the individual is indeed the suspect in the case). Case studies suggest that victims of cyberstalking should be advised to keep engagement with their cyberstalker to the minimum and if possible, refrain from engaging with the cyberstalked at all. (c) publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person, or purporting to originate from a person, It is an aggravating factor under Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, allowing a heavier tariff to be used in sentencing than the crime might draw without the hate elements. Court powers to control stalkers under investigation could be the "critical difference", victims say. (f) the deterioration in the victim's performance at work due to stress; This legal guidance addresses behaviour which is repeated and unwanted by the victim and which causes the victim alarm or distress. She explains that she bumped in to him at work a couple of weeks ago and since then has seen him 4 or 5 times standing outside her house in the evening and watching her. These situations could result in orders being made that jeopardise the safety of the victim and any children. Prosecutors should note that any incidents which form part of a course of conduct that took place prior to this date can not be included in a stalking charge. The first defence is that the course of conduct was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime. Federal law provides some tools to combat cyberstalking. Rather than looking at particular incidents of stalking, prosecutors should note that it is the cumulative effect of the stalking behaviour on the victim which should be assessed. As certificates are issued by the Secretary of State, they can be expected to relate only to high level operations concerning terrorism or very serious crime. A court dealing with a person convicted of any offence, including those under sections 2, 2A, 4 or 4A of the PHA, may make a restraining order prohibiting the defendant from doing anything described in the order. The PHA does not specify what period of time should elapse between occasions. This is both in terms of case building and the potential disclosure of undermining material to the defence. We are a niche law firm, dedicated in internet law and helping individuals with their breach of privacy and harassment issues are what we do on a daily basis. Difficulties will arise if an earlier incident has resulted in a conviction. Stalking 111 Offences in relation to stalking (1) After section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (offence of harassment) insert— “ 2A Offence of stalking (1) A person is guilty of an offence if— (a) the person pursues a course of conduct in breach of section 1(1), and (b) the course of conduct amounts to stalking. GOV.UK is the place to find that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable. Two days later the woman sees the same man standing outside her house for ten minutes, hiding behind the hedge but runs off when she approaches him. Each victim's individual experiences of harassment and stalking will be different, and some victims may encounter additional barriers to accessing justice. NSS helps run the National Stalking Helpline. She is scared that if she reports Rex to the police, his family will make more trouble for her. The nature of stalking and harassment, particularly where the victim has been followed or subjected to periods of observation, will usually mean that the defendant has spent significant periods of time in the vicinity of the victim's home, place of work or other places that the victim habitually visits. Victims may also be forced to alter their lifestyle choices which can include having to move home or job, restricting their social activities or otherwise altering their routines. The definition of cybercrime 2. New Stalking Protection Orders ( SPOs) will allow courts in England and Wales to move quicker to ban stalkers from contacting victims or visiting their home, place of work or study. In such circumstances the charging lawyer may decide that the case does not meet the threshold element of the evidential stage of the Code for Crown Prosecutors and that the defendant's continued remand in custody is not justified. Safe information sharing also allows agencies to manage the perpetrator in ways that reduce risk. The original impetus to introduce the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 was to deal with the problem of stalking. The victim is in her 80's and suffers from a disability which causes her to walk with a limp. However, under section 4A, the additional element will allow prosecutors to consider an either way offence. Section 7(3A) provides that conduct by one person shall also be taken to be conduct by another if the other has aided, abetted, counselled or procured the conduct. the course of conduct amounts to stalking. when a course of conduct fell short of causing a victim to feel fear of violence but nevertheless caused a victim serious alarm or distress. In the majority of cases, we in the CPS will not have information independent of the police that can inform the process. For example, revealing the sexuality of a victim could place them at risk of homophobic abuse. She set up a web-site, dedicated to her cause, containing inflammatory statements about the bank employee. In this case a section 2A charge is appropriate as there is a course of conduct, the course of conduct has a number of features of stalking, and although the victim is troubled by the conduct, this falls short of serious alarm or distress. It should be noted that whereas the section 2 and 4 offences require a course of conduct, breaches of court orders require only a single act. However, the defendant may have obtained an order from the civil court that allows contact between the defendant and the children. The prison can be informed of the existence of an order by the police. information online. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, s.111 created 2 new offences (inserted in PHA 1997): - Stalking involving fear of violence (s.4A(1)(b)(i) PHA 1997) OR, - Stalking involving serious alarm or distress (s.4A(1)(b)(ii) PHA 1997). 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