At the start of National Stalking Awareness Week, Cllr Rachel Woods has called for victims to reach out for support
The Green Party NI Chair of Ards and North Down PCSP said: “I am glad that the Protection from Stalking Bill is now law and is being used by the PSNI. Legislation to protect victims of stalking was long overdue. The PSNI have been able to charge 47 alleged stalkers in the last year, arresting 88.
“For any victim, stalking is insidious. It can take its toll emotionally and physically. It can also be a precursor to more serious crimes and acts of violence. That is why these new legal protections are so important and will save lives, as well as having new powers for the PSNI through Stalking Prevention Orders.
“Amendments made to the Bill that I ensured were in, meant that we will have more robust training, data collection, reporting and guidance in relation to the new criminal offences. We need to ensure that those at the front line of our criminal justice system are fully trained, especially police officers who will be the first port of call when responding to reports of these crimes. The PSNI have stated that over 4500 officers have been trained, and I will keep raising this locally for Ards and North Down.
“Stalking can be a life-or-death situation, if you need help or advice, please reach out for support."