MPs and peers are calling for a new law which will make stalking a serious offence in order to prevent such cases ending in violence and murder.
Scotland made stalking a criminal offence in 2010 and campaigners have said that simply making stalking an offence of harassment is not enough. The British Crime Survey brought annual stalking numbers to light with 120,000 cases occurring each year in England and Wales. However, of this number, only 2% of cases ended in a conviction.
Some stalking cases can result in violence and even murder and Tracey Morgan, who was stalked by the same man for 10 years has described it as being ‘mentally raped’. Ms Morgan, together with other victims, has been lobbying politicians at Westminster to bring in new laws.
Many campaigners believe that stalking is not being taken seriously enough and often use the case of Clare Bernal, 22, who was shot dead by her obsessed ex-boyfriend. Ms Bernal’s boyfriend had been bailed for harassment leaving him free to kill her.
Scotland made stalking into a criminal offence and around 400 alleged stalkers were prosecuted in 2011. David Cameron, along with MPs and peers are fully supporting the proposed new changes to the law. They acknowledge that greater care needs to be given to victims and stalkers are punished properly.