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Home Breaking Kent Police has obtained 100 Stalking Protection Orders (SPO) since the powers came into force in January 2020

Kent Police has obtained 100 Stalking Protection Orders (SPO) since the powers came into force in January 2020

The orders are designed to better safeguard victims of stalking by allowing officers to intervene in stalking cases before a conviction while further investigation is conducted. They place a requirement on the perpetrator to register with police and anyone who breaches the order may be fined or sentenced to a maximum of five years per offence. The first SPO was issued on Monday 25 February 2020 against a man from Rochester. The 54-year-old is prohibited from contacting the victim, engaging in any surveillance of her or attending her address. The order was granted for a duration of five years. A further order was granted for 10 years and prevents a 38-year-old from contacting the victim personally or via any third parties, surveillance of the victim or attending her address. The defendant is also required to register his vehicle and phone details and attend a therapeutic programme to address his behaviour. This was issued in April 2022 against a man from Ashford. The 100th SPO was granted in December 2022 and follows a report of persistent unwanted contact, controlling and coercive behaviour and threats to kill which amounted to stalking. This order prevents the 28-year-old from Thanet from contacting the victim or their family, posting anything about them on social media, owning more than one phone or obstructing officers from investigating any future allegations. Additionally, the suspect must declare future relationships to ensure new partners are safeguarded. Kent Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Tracey Harman said: ‘We are pleased to have secured 100 Stalking Protection Orders, which is an extremely valuable tool and help us further protect victims whilst our officers carry out full and thorough investigations. ‘The order is certainly not an alternative to a prosecution; they are just one tool that officers use to provide protection to those who need it. ‘We appreciate that sometimes victims want intervention rather than prosecution, particularly in domestic abuse cases, however regardless of the crime outcome, victims in Kent will always be safeguarded where appropriate and directed to the relevant support services for advice and further help. `Stalking can have a devastating effect on victims’ lives and we remain focused and committed to helping people get justice and move forward.’ Anyone who feels they are a victim of stalking or are being harassed should report this behaviour to Kent Police by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. • Incidents can also be reported online at Report a crime | Kent Police • Always keep a record of what happened:where, when and how you were followed or contacted • Make a note of anything you were sent • Keep any social media or text messages • Record the details of anyone who may have witnessed the stalking • Anyone concerned about stalking can also contact the Suzy Lamplugh Trust stalking helpline or find further information on their website • The National Stalking Helpline, offering help, advice, and support, can also be reached on 0808 802 0300

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