SNP MEMBERS' BILL WILL PROTECT VICTIMS OF STALKING

HOLYROOD DEBATE AHEAD OF STALKING AWARENESS WEEK

An SNP MSP will today (Tuesday) lead a debate to mark Stalking Awareness Week, which takes place on 8 to 12 April 2019, by highlighting the need for essential legal reform to help tackle the serious issue.

A Members' Bill brought forward by MSP Rona Mackay will allow police to apply to court for protection orders on behalf of victims of stalking.

The new class of protection order would mean that victims would not have to take legal action through the courts themselves at a time when they may be particularly vulnerable.

Recorded offences of stalking in Scotland have more than doubled since 2012, with more than one-fifth of young people having been the victim of stalking or harassment in the last year.

Commenting, Ms Mackay said:

“Stalking is an incredibly serious crime which can have a life-changing impact on victims, of course, in some cases, can escalate into violence.

“Everyone should feel confident they can walk down the street safely or use social media without fear of consequence. My proposal of legal reform would remove obstacles for victims and help curb the worrying rise of stalking in Scotland.

“It’s time for specific legislation that will give faster and comprehensive protection to victims of stalking. I look forward to developing these proposals alongside colleagues from across the chamber.

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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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