Proposed Stalking Protection (Scotland) Bill

A proposal for a Bill to increase protection for victims of stalking by giving police the power to apply for stalking protection orders on behalf of victims

View consultation responses

Recorded incidences of stalking have almost doubled in the last five years and the rise of cyber-stalking, through social media and mobile phone apps, shows no signs of abating. It is widely recognised that stalkers can have a profound effect on their victims, both mentally and physically, and that stalking behaviour can culminate in serious violence.

 

The dramatic rise in stalking offences since 2012 has led to calls, from victims of stalking and relevant stakeholders, for victims of these crimes to be given greater protection.  A survey by the Scottish Government in 2017/18 found 27% of women aged 16-24 had experienced at least one incident of stalking in the previous year.  Overall 11% of adults experienced at least one type of stalking and harassment in 12 months.

 

Currently, individuals who are being stalked can apply to the court to have a Non-Harassment Order (NHO) taken out against a stalker. This means that the victim has to take legal action themselves, which can be costly and stressful, and the numbers of victims applying for NHOs has therefore been empirically low.

 

Prosecutors can apply for an NHO once a stalker has been convicted. However, criminal cases take time to investigate and prosecute, leaving the victim to navigate a civil action at a particularly vulnerable time. In addition, if they do not qualify for legal aid, the cost is prohibitive.

 

My proposal aims to give victims greater protection, and access to justice, by allowing the police to apply directly to the court for a Stalking Protection Order (SPO). The police will have to show that there is evidence of stalking behaviour and that they believe that there is a risk to the victim. An Order would then prohibit the stalker from continuing this behaviour.

 

Breaching an SPO would be a criminal offence, in the same way that breaching an NHO is a criminal offence. However, it is not my intention that SPOs would replace criminal convictions for the offence of stalking - for example, a breach of an SPO could help to provide evidence for an ongoing criminal investigation. The advantage of SPOs is that they would provide a quicker procedure for the protection of the victim.

 

The UK Parliament has recently passed the Stalking Protection Act 2019, which provides the police with powers to apply for SPOs for victims in England and Wales. It is imperative that victims who are stalked in Scotland have access to a similar level of protection.

 

Being a victim of stalking is frightening, distressing, often relentless, and can cause severe damage to victims’ mental and physical well-being. SPOs would give the police an additional legal tool to increase protection for victims, which in turn may encourage more victims to report this pernicious crime. 

Rona Mackay

April 2019

How to respond to the consultation

Online

You are encouraged to submit your response via an online survey (Smart Survey) if possible, as this is quicker and more efficient both for you and the Parliament.  However, if you do not have online access, or prefer not to use Smart Survey, you may also respond by e-mail or in hard copy.

Email or post

Responses not made via Smart Survey should, if possible, be prepared electronically (preferably in MS Word). Please keep formatting of this document to a minimum. Please send the document by e-mail (as an attachment, rather than in the body of the e-mail) to:

Rona.mackay.msp@parliament.scot

 

Responses prepared in hard copy should either be scanned and sent as an attachment to the above e-mail address or sent by post to:

 

Rona Mackay MSP

18a Townhead

Kirkintilloch

G66 1NL

 

Responses submitted by e-mail or hard copy may be entered into Smart Survey by my office or by NGBU.

 

If submitting a response by e-mail or hard copy, please include written confirmation that you have read and understood the Privacy Notice.

 

You may also contact my office by telephone on 0141 776 1561.

How to respond to the consultation

Online

You are encouraged to submit your response via an online survey (Smart Survey) if possible, as this is quicker and more efficient both for you and the Parliament.  However, if you do not have online access, or prefer not to use Smart Survey, you may also respond by e-mail or in hard copy.

Email or post

Responses not made via Smart Survey should, if possible, be prepared electronically (preferably in MS Word). Please keep formatting of this document to a minimum. Please send the document by e-mail (as an attachment, rather than in the body of the e-mail) to:

Rona.mackay.msp@parliament.scot

 

Responses prepared in hard copy should either be scanned and sent as an attachment to the above e-mail address or sent by post to:

 

Rona Mackay MSP

18a Townhead

Kirkintilloch

G66 1NL

 

Responses submitted by e-mail or hard copy may be entered into Smart Survey by my office or by NGBU.

 

If submitting a response by e-mail or hard copy, please include written confirmation that you have read and understood the Privacy Notice.

 

You may also contact my office by telephone on 0141 776 1561.

Frequently asked questions

Deadline for responses


All responses should be received no later than Sunday 21st July. Please let me know in advance of this deadline if you anticipate difficulties meeting it. Responses received after the consultation has closed will not be included in any summary of responses that is prepared.




How responses are handled


To help inform debate on the matters covered by this consultation and in the interests of openness, please be aware that I would normally expect to publish all responses received (other than “not for publication” responses) on my website https://www.ronamackay.scot/. Published responses (other than anonymous responses) will include the name of the respondent, but other personal data sent with the response (including signatures, addresses and contact details) will not be published.
Where responses include content considered to be offensive, defamatory or irrelevant, my office may contact you to agree changes to the content, or may edit the content itself and publish a redacted version.
Copies of all responses will be provided to the Scottish Parliament’s Non-Government Bills Unit (NGBU), so it can prepare a summary that I may then lodge with a final proposal (the next stage in the process of securing the right to introduce a Member’s Bill). The Privacy Notice (below) explains more about how the Parliament will handle your response.
If I lodge a final proposal, I will be obliged to provide copies of responses (other than “not for publication” responses) to the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe). SPICe may make responses available to MSPs or staff on request.




Requests for anonymity or for responses not to be published


If you wish your response to be treated as anonymous or “not for publication”, please indicate this clearly. The Privacy Notice (below) explains how such responses will be handled.




Other exceptions to publication


Where a large number of submissions is received, particularly if they are in very similar terms, it may not be practical or appropriate to publish them all individually. One option may be to publish the text only once, together with a list of the names of those making that response.
There may also be legal reasons for not publishing some or all of a response – for example, if it contains irrelevant, offensive or defamatory content. If I think your response contains such content, it may be returned to you with an invitation to provide a justification for the content or to edit or remove it. Alternatively, I may publish it with the content edited or removed, or I may disregard the response and destroy it.




Data Protection


As an MSP, I must comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data protection legislation which places certain obligations on me when I process personal data. As stated above, I will normally publish your response in full, together with your name, unless you request anonymity or ask for it not to be published. I will not publish your signature or personal contact information. The Privacy Notice (below) sets out in more detail what this means.
I may also edit any part of your response which I think could identify a third party, unless that person has provided consent for me to publish it. If you wish me to publish information that could identify a third party, you should obtain that person’s consent in writing and include it with your submission.
If you consider that your response may raise any other issues under the GDPR or other data protection legislation and wish to discuss this further, please contact me before you submit your response. Further information about data protection can be found at: www.ico.gov.uk.




Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002


As indicated above, NGBU may have access to information included in, or provided with, your response that I would not normally publish (such as confidential content, or your contact details). Any such information held by the Parliament is subject to the requirements of the FOISA. So if the information is requested by third parties the Scottish Parliament must consider the request and may have to provide the information unless the information falls within one of the exemptions set out in the Act. I cannot therefore guarantee that any such information you send me will not be made public should it be requested under FOISA.
Further information about Freedom of Information can be found at:
www.itspublicknowledge.info.




Privacy Notice


Privacy Notice
This privacy notice explains how the personal data which may be included in, or is provided with, your response to a MSP’s consultation on a proposal for a Member’s Bill will be processed. This data will include any personal data including special categories of personal data (formerly referred to as sensitive personal data) that is included in responses to consultation questions, and will also include your name and your contact details provided with the response. Names and contact details fall into normal category data.
Collecting and holding Personal Data
The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (the SPCB) processes any personal data you send to it, or that the MSP whose consultation you respond to shares with it (under a data-sharing agreement) according to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (the DPA)
Personal data consists of data from which a living individual may be identified. The SPCB will hold any personal data securely, will use it only for the purposes it was collected for and will only pass it to any third parties (other than the MSP whose consultation you respond to) with your consent or according to a legal obligation. Further information about the data protection legislation and your rights is available here:
https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/is-my-information-being-handled-correctly/
Sharing Personal Data
The data collected and generated by Smart Survey will be held by the Non-Government Bills Unit (NGBU), a team in the Scottish Parliament which supports MSPs progressing Members’ Bills, and shared with the MSP who is progressing the Bill and staff in the MSP’s office. Data submitted by other means (e.g. by email or hard copy) will be held by the MSP’s office and shared with NGBU for the purpose of producing a summary of responses to the consultation. The MSP and NGBU are joint data controllers of the data. Under a data-sharing agreement between the MSP and the Scottish Parliament, access to the data is normally limited to NGBU staff working on the Member’s Bill/proposal, the MSP and staff in the MSP’s office working on the Member’s Bill/proposal; but data may also be shared by NGBU with the Scottish Parliament’s solicitors in the context of obtaining legal advice.
Publishing Personal Data
“Not for publication” responses will not be published and will only be referred to in the summary of consultation responses in the context of a reference to the number of “not for publication” responses received and, in some cases, in the context of a general reference that is considered by you to be consistent with the reasons for choosing “not for publication” status for your response. Anonymous responses will be published without your name attached, your name will not be mentioned in the summary of consultation responses, and any quote from or reference to any of your answers or comments will not be attributed to you by name.
Other responses may be published, together with your name; and quotes from or references to any of your answers or comments, together with your name, may also be published in the summary of consultation responses.
Contact details (e.g. your e-mail address) provided with your response will not be published, but may be used by either the MSP’s office or by NGBU to contact you about your response or to provide you with further information about progress with the proposed Bill.
Where personal data, whether relating to you or to anyone else, is included in that part of your response that is intended for publication, the MSP’s office or NGBU may edit or remove it, or invite you to do so; but in certain circumstances the response may be published with the personal data still included.
Please note, however, that references in the foregoing paragraphs to circumstances in which responses or information will not be published are subject to the Parliament’s legal obligations under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. Under that Act, the Parliament may be obliged to release to a requester information that it holds, which may include personal data in your response (including if the response is “not for publication” or anonymous). Use of Smart Survey software The Scottish Parliament is licensed to use Smart Survey which is a third party online survey system enabling the Scottish Parliament to collect responses to MSP consultations, to extract and collate data from those responses, and to generate statistical information about those responses. Smart Survey is based in the UK and is subject to the requirements of data protection legislation.
Any information you send by email or in hard copy in response to a consultation on a proposal for a Member’s Bill may be added manually to Smart Survey by the MSP’s office or by NGBU.
The privacy policy for Smart Survey is available here:
https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/privacy-policy
While the collected data is held on SmartSurvey, access to it is password protected. Where the data is transferred to our own servers at the Scottish Parliament, access will be restricted to NGBU staff through the application of security caveats to all folders holding consultation data. Access to, retention and deletion of personal data As soon as possible after a summary of consultation responses has been published, or three months after the consultation period has ended, whichever is earlier, all of your data will be deleted from Smart Survey. If, three months after the consultation period has ended, a summary has not been published, then the information that we would normally publish – including all your answers to questions about the proposal (unless your response is “not for publication”) and your name (unless you requested anonymity), but not your contact details – may be downloaded from Smart Survey to SPCB servers and retained until the end of the session of the Parliament in which the consultation took place. If the MSP lodges a final proposal, he/she is required to provide a copy of your response (unless it was “not for publication”), together with your name (unless you requested anonymity), but not your contact details, to the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), where it may be retained indefinitely and may be archived. Purpose of the data processing
The purpose of collecting, storing and sharing personal data contained in consultation responses is to enable Members to consider the views of respondents to inform the development of the Bill, with the support of NGBU. Personal data contained in consultation responses will not be used for any other purpose without the express consent of the data subject. The legal basis The legal basis for collecting, holding, sharing and publishing your personal data is that the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, or in the substantial public interest, in accordance with Art 6(1)(e) GDPR, s8(d) DPA, or Art 9(1)(g) GDPR, s10 of and paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 of the DPA. The task is the support of Members seeking to introduce Members’ Bills to the Parliament. This is a core task of the SPCB and therefore a Crown function. The adequate support of the Members Bill process and the ability to seek, use and temporarily store personal data including special category data is in the substantial public interest.
If the person responding to the consultation is under the age of 12 then consent from the parent or guardian of the young person will be required to allow the young person to participate in the consultation process (however, the legal basis for the processing of the personal data submitted remains as the public interest task basis identified above). Your rights
Data protection legislation sets out the rights which individuals have in relation to personal data held about them by data controllers. Applicable rights are listed below, although whether you will be able to exercise data subject rights in a particular case may depend on the purpose for which the data controller is processing the data and the legal basis upon which the processing takes place. For example, the rights allowing for erasure of personal data (right to be forgotten) and data portability do not apply in cases where personal data is processed for the purpose of the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. The right to object to the processing of personal data for the purpose of a public interest task is restricted if there are legitimate grounds for the processing which override the interest of the data subject. This would be considered on a case by case basis and depends on what personal data is involved and the risks further processing of that data would pose to you. As described above, the collection, storage, sharing and publishing of personal data contained in consultation responses is a task carried out in the public interest, which means that these three data subject rights do not apply here or only in a restricted scope.
Access to your information – You have the right to request a copy of the personal information about you that we hold.
Correcting your information – We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate, complete and up to date and you may ask us to correct any personal information about you that you believe does not meet these standards.
Objecting to how we may use your information – Where we use your personal information to perform tasks carried out in the public interest then, if you ask us to, we will stop using that personal information unless there are overriding legitimate grounds to continue.
Restricting how we may use your information – in some cases, you may ask us to restrict how we use your personal information. This right might apply, for example, where we are checking the accuracy of personal information about you that we hold or assessing the validity of any objection you have made to our use of your information. The right might also apply where this is no longer a basis for using your personal information but you don't want us to delete the data. Where this right is validly exercised, we may only use the relevant personal information with your consent, for legal claims or where there are other public interest grounds to do so.
Please contact us in any of the ways set out in the Contact information and further advice section if you wish to exercise any of these rights. Changes to our privacy notice We keep this privacy notice under regular review and will place any updates on this website. Paper copies of the privacy notice may also be obtained using the contact information below.
This privacy notice was last updated on 28 June 2018.
Contact information and further advice
If you have any further questions about the way in which we process personal data, or about how to exercise your rights, please contact: Head of Information Governance
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP
Telephone: 0131 348 6913 (Text Relay calls welcome)
Textphone: 0800 092 7100
Email: dataprotection@parliament.scot Complaints
We seek to resolve directly all complaints about how we handle personal information but you also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office: Online: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/
By phone: 0303 123 1113





Rona Mackay was elected in May 2016 with a 8,100 majority in Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Prior to this, she was a journalist in national newspapers for more than 20 years, before becoming Parliamentary Assistant to Clydebank and Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson, with whom she worked for nine years before becoming elected.

 

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