At the Final Stage debate of the Protection from Stalking Bill in the Assembly today, Rachel Woods MLA welcomed the passage of the new legislation.

The Green Party NI member of the Justice Committee said: “I am glad that the Protection from Stalking Bill will soon become law. It really is longoverdue, and it cannot come into force quickly enough.  

“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 introducing new powers for the PSNI through Stalking Prevention Orders.

“Amendments made to the Bill now mean 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.  

“Stalking can be alife-or-death situation, if you need help or advice, please reach out for support."