Stalking super-complaint launched in opposition t police

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Alice. Ruggles instructed police she was concerned for her safety
By James Gregory
BBC News

Campaigners have launched a super-complaint against the police over their method to stalking.

The National Stalking Consortium has claimed officers are failing to establish offenders, adequately investigate crimes or guard victims

Only. 5% of stalking circumstances in England and Wales consequence in a charge, it added

Clive. Ruggles, whose daughter was killed by an ex-boyfriend who stalked her, reported greater training was wanted so officers might “do the right thing”

A. BBC Breakfast Freedom of Information request discovered that four police forces in England, out of 28 who responded, do not have a single level of contact for stalking, despite a government recommendation.

Some 14 forces who responded had gone above the minimum requirement and have more than one

The. super-complaint,. a mechanism that permits organisations to highlight harmful patterns or tendencies in policing, is being introduced 10 years on from a change to the law that made stalking a specific offence

The. consortium, made up of 21 professional people and organisations, argues that police are failing to establish patterns of behaviour and usually deal with incidents as decrease level crimes such as malicious communications or criminal damage

Campaigners. have reported they are “highly concerned” that studies of stalking are not adequately investigated with officers incorrectly believing there is not adequate evidence, and that stalking defense orders are not used enough

Suky. Bhaker, CEO of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust that set up the consortium, reported a significant number of stalking victims are being let down by the police and courts “at every step of their journey to justice”

“Failure. to establish and investigate stalking at the earliest possible opportunity outcomes in an increasing hazard of actual and psychological harm to the victim,” she said

She. added that she hoped the super-complaint would lead to recommendations being introduced in to strengthen the police response to stalking.

Once the super-complaint is submitted a watchdog will resolve whether it is eligible for investigation

‘Prevalent. horrendous’

Alice Ruggles, 24, was killed by her soldier ex-boyfriend, Trimaan Dhillon, after he. broke into her flat and cut her throat in Gateshead in 2016.

A evaluate conducted after her dying discovered Northumbria Police and the Army failed to adequately address indicators of L/Cpl Dhillon’s jealous and obsessive behaviour

Alice’s. father, Clive Ruggles, instructed BBC Breakfast he believed her worries were listened to by some in the drive but reported he thought there was poor training in place.

“I imagine she was listened to by some of the police there and the first responder [who] got here round was really, really doing his utmost to help,” he said

“He. was completely empathetic, but he was poorly trained”

Sue. Hills and Clive Ruggles holding up a photograph of their daughter

He added that there wanted to be greater training in place for police officers to spot the indicators of stalking, as well as a change in mindset of how dangerous stalking can be

“Stalking. is so prevalent, this is simply horrendous,” he said

“We’ve. received to have police training that means they do the right thing when they spot a stalking case, comply with it up in the right way

“We. need multi-agency support, much greater help for multi-agency working simply because this is not simply about the criminal justice response

“You’ve. received to increase a new release who are shocked when they see stalking in the news. I imagine too many individuals still imagine of stalking as a bit of a joke – or a thing that happens to other people”

Richard. Spinks and Alison Heaton

Richard Spinks, whose daughter. Gracie was stabbed by a former colleague who stalked her in Derbyshire in 2021, instructed the BBC that victims have “got to believe in the system” in order for them to come forward.

He said: “You shouldn’t be afraid of coming forward and complaining and making a report with the mindset of ‘If I do, nothing will be accomplished – they won’t take it seriously enough, and there won’t be any action’

“It’s. received to be all the constabularies, all the police forces in the kingdom have received to have the similar procedures in place, the similar coordinators, advocatesthat. are trained to deal with these complaints and studies and investigate them.

“I imagine that was a lot to do with the problem with Gracie that the report wasn’t investigated enough”

Deputy. Chief Constable Paul Mills, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for stalking and harassment, reported there was more to do to strengthen outcomes for victims of stalking.

“It is recognised there is more to do to strengthen the criminal justice system outcomes for victims of stalking and we are working intently with the Crown Prosecution Service to comprehend the progression of circumstances earlier than the level of cost and court,” he said

Police. in England and Wales issued more than 400 stalking defense orders in 2020 and anticipate the number to increase

The. number of stalking crimes recorded by forces has additionally risen, which chiefs claim is due to improved realization of offending behaviour

The. Suzy Lamplugh Trust is named after Ms Lamplugh, an estate agent who. went lacking in south west London in 1986

More. on this story

    • 19 March 2019
    • 8 June

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