Stalking - the law - Private Investigator

Stalking - the law

Stalking lawsl

Stalking - the Law

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 added the following to S.2 of the Protection from Harrassment Act 1997:

S.2A - The Offence of Stalking

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—

  • the course of conduct amounts to stalking
  • (2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) (and section 4A(1)(a)) a person’s course of conduct amounts to stalking of another person if—

  • it amounts to harassment of that person
  • the acts or omissions involved are ones associated with stalking, and
  • the person whose course of conduct it is knows or ought to know that the course of conduct amounts to harassment of the other person
  • (3) The following are examples of acts or omissions which, in particular circumstances, are ones associated with stalking—

  • following a person
  • contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means
  • publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person, or purporting to originate from a person
  • monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication
  • loitering in any place (whether public or private)
  • interfering with any property in the possession of a person
  • watching or spying on a person
  • (4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 51 weeks, or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or both.

    (5) In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 281(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the reference in subsection (4) to 51 weeks is to be read as a reference to six months.

    (6) This section is without prejudice to the generality of section 2.

    The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 added the following to S.4 of the Protection from Harrassment Act 1997:

    S.4A Stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress

    (1) A person (“A”) whose course of conduct—

  • amounts to stalking, and
  • causes another (“B”) to fear, on at least two occasions, that violence will be used against B, or causes B serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on B’s usual day-to-day activities,
  • is guilty of an offence if A knows or ought to know that A’s course of conduct will cause B so to fear on each of those occasions or (as the case may be) will cause such alarm or distress.

    (2) For the purposes of this section A ought to know that A’s course of conduct will cause B to fear that violence will be used against B on any occasion if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct would cause B so to fear on that occasion

    (3) For the purposes of this section A ought to know that A’s course of conduct will cause B serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on B’s usual day-to-day activities if a reasonable person in possession of the same information would think the course of conduct would cause B such alarm or distres

    It is a defence for A to show that—

  • A’s course of conduct was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime
  • A’s course of conduct 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
  • the pursuit of A’s course of conduct was reasonable for the protection of A or another or for the protection of A’s or another’s property
  • A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

  • on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine, or both, or
  • on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both
  • In relation to an offence committed before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the reference in subsection (5)(b) to twelve months is to be read as a reference to six months

    If on the trial on indictment of a person charged with an offence under this section the jury find the person not guilty of the offence charged, they may find the person guilty of an offence under section 2 or 2A

    The Crown Court has the same powers and duties in relation to a person who is by virtue of subsection (7) convicted before it of an offence under section 2 or 2A as a magistrates’ court would have on convicting the person of the offence

    This section is without prejudice to the generality of section 4.”

    For practical assistance and consultation contact us in the first instance either by email to info@answers.uk.com or by telephoning 020 7158 0332 and discussing the matter with our team

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