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Gloucestershire Business News

Man served with Gloucestershire Constabulary's first Stalking Protection Order

A man has been served with Gloucestershire Constabulary's first Stalking Protection Order under section 9 of the Stalking Protection Act 2019.

Officers obtained the order against the man, who is in his 20s and from Gloucester, during a hearing at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court earlier this month following an investigation into a complaint that he was stalking his ex-partner and her family.

The order which has been granted for 5 years and expires on 30 November 2025 means that the man cannot:

1. Contact or attempt to contact the victim either directly or indirectly (this includes the sending of any objects)

2. Carry out surveillance by any means, including any recording on any device, in relation to the victim (this includes watching, following, or waiting for the persons named within these prohibitions)

3. Make reference to the victim, directly or indirectly, in any message or on any social media platform

4. Enter a specified exclusion zone

The conditions were tailored to protect the victim now as well as in the long term and have effect in all parts of the United Kingdom.

The breach of an SPO is a criminal offence punishable by a maximum of five years imprisonment.

Detective Superintendent Steve Bean said: "The crime of Stalking can cause utter misery, fear and lasting emotional and psychological damage to victims and their families. Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) are a relatively new, but highly significant tool in the management of perpetrators of this deplorable offence.

"I am extremely pleased that an SPO has been obtained in this case, and hope that the victim can now live her life safe in the knowledge that if the offender breaches any of the conditions, there will be serious consequences, including potential imprisonment.

"Gloucestershire has an extremely strong, networked multi-agency response to the linked issues of stalking, harassment, domestic abuse and sexual violence, and victims can be reassured that these types of criminal behaviours will not be tolerated under any circumstances."

The Stalking Protection Act 2019 came into effect on 20 January 2020. A Stalking Protection Order is an order which enables police forces to better protect victims of stalking by preventing the defendant from carrying out acts associated with stalking.

Gloucestershire has a stalking clinic which responds robustly and effectively to cases of stalking by working alongside partner agencies.

A number of support services are available as part of this for anyone who is concerned about stalking and they include the Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS), the National Stalking Helpline and Victim Support.

Details on how to contact the support services are below:

• GDASS: https://www.gdass.org.uk/ 

• Victim Support: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/support-near-you/south-west/gloucestershire 

• National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300 https://www.suzylamplugh.org/pages/category/national-stalking-helpline 

• Local information for professionals on identifying and responding to stalking: http://www.glostakeastand.com/professionals/ 

Anyone who wishes to report concerns about stalking to police can do so by completing the following online form: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/soh/seen-or-heard/, calling 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.

Please note that we have not named the man or included any more specific details (such as the area of his exclusion zone) to ensure that the victim is not identified and can remain anonymous.

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