SNP MSP Rona Mackay has submitted a proposal for a Bill to give police the power to apply for a stalking protection order on behalf of victims.
The Stalking Protection (Scotland) Bill goes out to public consultation on Monday for a period of three months.
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.
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.
Commenting, Rona Mackay said:
“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. This proposal goes further than recently introduced legislation in England and ensures that no matter the relationship between the victim and stalker, that an SPO could be granted.
“I welcome submissions to my consultation that will help shape the bill going forward.”