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A super complaint warns of the victims being chased by the police

Only 5% of stalking cases in England and Wales end with the perpetrator being charged.

Activists have launched a supercharged complaint against the police alleging that stalking victims are being endangered by the way the crime is being handled.

The National Stalkingederation said police officers let victims down by not identifying patterns of offenders’ behavior and treating incidents as “low-level crimes”. The group of 21 people and expert organizations also said they were “extremely concerned” that the cases had not been fully investigated because police wrongly believed there was insufficient evidence.

Currently only 5% of stalking cases in England and Wales end with the perpetrator being charged, leading campaigners to say there are systemic issues with how stalking is dealt with.

“We support thousands of victims every year across our National Pursuit Service Many of them told us that the police and courts fail them at every step of their journey towards justice.

“Failure to identify and investigate stalking at the earliest possible opportunity increases the risk of physical and psychological harm to the victim. We hope that the outcome of this superior complaint will result in strong recommendations to improve the much-needed police response to stalking across the country.”

Activists have launched a major complaint against the police over their handling of stalking crimes. Credit: Kim Moog/National World

“Haunted victims deserve protection.”

The Super Complaint, a metric used to highlight broader problems or trends in policing, is being introduced a decade after stalking was recognized as a specific offense in the law. But the organizations noted that they are not doing enough – the freight rate remains “unacceptably low”.

Clare Waxman, London Victims Commissioner who was also a victim of stalking herself commented: “While I had hoped that revised stalking legislation would lead to better protection and justice for victims, the indictment rate has remained unacceptably low for ten years. It is clear that the justice system remains Struggles to aggressively define and address stalking, which leaves so many victims suffering and endangered. Change is long overdue because the victims they stalk deserve protection.”

Stalking crimes are on the rise

Official crime data revealed that 718,317 stalking and harassment offenses were recorded in 2022. This represents a 45% increase compared to the year ending March 2020, and a 7% increase compared to the year ending June 2021, but police claim this is due to improved awareness of abusive behaviour.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council on Stalling and Harassment, said: “Harassment and stalking are serious crimes that can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims, their friends and families. Stalking is a crime that gets to the heart of violence against women and girls, removing their sense of safety.

“It is recognized that more needs to be done to improve the outcome of the criminal justice system for victims of stalking, and we are working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to understand the progression of cases before the Accused and the Court.”

Once the major complaint has been formally filed, a watchdog will decide whether it qualifies for investigation. In the past, Super complaints about police use of stop and search powers, the force’s response to police-perpetrated domestic violence, and police treatment of sexual assault victims have been issued from BAME.

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