Stalking Protection Act 2019

20 January 2020

The Stalking Protection Act 2019 came into force on Monday 20 January 2020 and permits stalking protection orders to be made on both adults and juveniles.

Whilst the Act aims to deal with cases of stalking that have occurred outside of a domestic abuse context such as stranger stalking, the orders can actually be applied to any case of stalking.

The orders not only prohibit particular behaviours but can also dictate that an individual has to undertake particular rehabilitative actions. For example, defendants can be ordered to attend mental health assessments or counselling where appropriate.

During any period that a court is determining the appropriateness of a stalking protection order being imposed, interim orders may be temporarily executed under the legislation.

Although stalking protection orders are civil, breach of an order or the notifications are criminal offences:

Section 8(1) and (2) – Breach of a stalking order / interim stalking protection order – H20164

Sections 9(1), 11(1)(a) and (2) – Failure to notify the police of notification requirements within 3 days of the service of the stalking order or interim stalking order – H20165

Sections 9(3), 11(1)(a) and (2) – Failure to notify the police of a name not already notified, within 3 days – H20166

Sections 9(4), 11(1)(a) and (2) – Failure to notify police of new home address within 3 days – H20167

Sections 10(5), 11(1)(a) and (2) - Failure to comply with request of police officer or other authorised persons for fingerprints / photographs / both – H20168

Sections 9, 11(1)(b) and (2) – Provide information relating to notification requirement known to be false - H20169

The offences are all either way. If a matter is tried as a summary offence, the maximum sentence is one of 6 months imprisonment and / or a fine. If tried on indictment, the maximum sentence is one of 5 years imprisonment and/ or a fine.

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