In an article posted to this website entitled ‘Stalking Protection | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors’ we commented upon the enactment of the Stalking Protection Act 2019 (‘the Act’) which provided for the making of a ‘Stalking Protection Order’ (‘a SPO’) against a defendant who, inter alia, poses a risk associated with stalking.
The Act came into force in January 2020 and Government has recently carried out a review of its provisions upon which Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors now comments.
Kangs Solicitors is rated one of the best criminal law firms in the country being ranked in both the leading Legal Directories, Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.
The firm has won the Legal 500 award for ‘Criminal & Fraud Law Firm of the Year’ and the firm’s founding solicitor Hamraj Kang won the Legal 500 award for ‘Individual Criminal & Fraud Solicitor of the Year’.
Should you require any initial advice, our team can be contacted as follows:
Stalking Protection Act 2019 | Kangs Stalking Offences Defence Solicitors
The Act introduced six criminal offences:
- Breach of a [full or interim] SPO without reasonable excuse.
- Failure without reasonable excuse to notify the police with required personal details within three days of being served with a [full or interim] SPO.
- Failure without reasonable excuse to notify the police of a name not already notified within three days of beginning to use that name.
- Failure without reasonable excuse to notify the police of a new address within three days of moving there.
- Failure to comply with the request of a police officer or other authorised person to provide fingerprints, photographs or both.
- Providing information relating to the notification requirements which is known to be false.
Report & Review Findings | Kangs Stalking Order Advice Solicitors
The Government Report found that:
- generally, SPOs worked well,
- respondents felt that SPOs were effective in reducing the risk of stalking,
- 439 interim and full SPOs were granted between the 20 January 2020 and 19 January 2021,
- the police were including more Prohibited Requirements than Positive Requirements attached to SPOs.
Meanwhile, Cheshire Police conducted research entitled ‘Impact of the Stalking Protection Order’ which found, inter alia, that:
- the process for obtaining a SPO is slow and bureaucratic,
- the manner of implementation of SPOs was at the discretion of individual forces,
- there is an apparent North/South distinction in the prevalence of SPOs,
- there is a preference for pursuing a Prosecution rather than seeking a SPO,
- it is not considered that the impact of the Covid Pandemic was the most significant barrier causing the slow application process for SPOs,
- the majority of Interim SPOs orders did not include positive requirements to be fulfilled,
- there have been few cases where breaches of SPOs have resulted in offenders being charged and prosecuted through the criminal courts.
Official Recommendations | Kangs Criminal Defence Lawyers
With the clear intent to encourage greater implementation of SPOs, both Interim and Full Orders, the Home Office has confirmed:
- it will work with charities to identify examples of SPO good practice to raise awareness amongst police forces and their legal teams,
- there will be continuing guidance on how to monitor and manage a SPO,
- Chief Constables of forces which have applied for five or fewer SPOs will be encouraged to adopt the process more readily,
- further guidance will be provided for Magistrates and legal advisers,
- early listings of SPO Hearings to enable quick and early protection for victims will be encouraged,
- it will publish periodical SPO data.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
If you are or feel that you may be made subject to a SPO, it is important that you are guided by experts experienced in assisting clients who have been subjected to such an Order.
Kangs Solicitors has a proven track record in successfully assisting clients accused or charged with breaching SPOs.
Arrangements can be made to meet at any of our offices in Birmingham, London and Manchester.
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the following who will be happy to speak to you and guide you: