Celebrity pop star Lily Allen has spoken of her fear regarding a stalker who made her life a misery for many years. Despite telling the police about the threat she felt daily at the hands of the individual, she felt that they more or less ignored her pleas and did not take her report seriously. She went on to say that she felt the police regarded her complaints as a “nuisance” rather than a crime.
This view is supported by the surprisingly low level of recorded incidents for what seems to be a wider much more common problem. Only a small proportion of cases are being formally recorded by the police let alone investigated. This has given weight to the argument by women’s rights campaigners that the crime of stalking is simply not taken seriously enough.Only 7,700 cases were reported in 3 years from 2013 – 2016 yet further evidence suggests almost 1 million people (male and female) may be affected by this crime.
The law on stalking is covered by this legislation introduced in 2012 to much acclaim. However it seems that the new laws are not being enforced rigorously by the police. Perhaps the most common scenario for stalking involves cases of domestic violence which are on the rise in the UK. Fortunately public awareness and the wide availability of support groups for domestic violence victims means that the police are not the only option available to victims. But one would expect a better approach and that needs to be addressed.
You can read more about this story on the Guardian website.