Tag Archives: stalking

The scandalous reason the Tories are failing victims of stalkers

This Writer knows a couple of people who have been victims of stalkers – both women.

Both have withstood their ordeal well enough – at least if one is judging by outward appearances. But asking the right questions revealed that at least one of them is having to deal with long-term psychological issues as a result – and isn’t coping very well.

In both cases, the police were a dead loss.

Perhaps it is hardly surprising. Funding cuts by the minority Conservative government mean that there are more than 21,000 fewer police officers in England and Wales than in 2010. That cut alone is equivalent to 18 times the number of police officers in This Writer’s force area (Dyfed Powys).

The police officers who remain are said to be under extreme stress – so much that some are being driven towards suicide.

So they don’t investigate stalking properly, even though 94 per cent of murders are said to have involved stalking of some kind.

The money that is no longer being spent on policing has been turned into tax breaks for rich people and donors to the Conservative Party; the UK as a whole does not benefit from them in any way.

So much for the Party of Law and Order. Under the Conservatives, you are less safe than you have ever been.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust estimates there are about 1.1 million cases every year in which victims are harassed, intimidated or made to feel unsafe by a stalker – many of which are never reported to the police.

In 2015/16, there were just 753 prosecutions for stalking offences, with 529 ending in a conviction – around 0.04 per cent of the total number of estimated incidents.

a study by the charity, set up in memory of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared without trace more than 30 years ago, revealed stalking behaviour is present in the background of a huge number of cases in which women are killed by men.

Of 358 murders examined during a three-year period from 2012 until 2014, the killer was found to have engaged in some form of stalking in 94 per cent.

Labour MP and former shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said cuts to emergency service budgets made it harder for the authorities to tackle incidents.

“The police need the resources, capabilities and training to prevent and prosecute this crime. At the moment this simply isn’t the case – and victims are being let down.”

If you suspect you are, or know someone who may be a victim of stalking, call the helpline on 0808 802 0300 or visit the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website for more information.

Read more: An Incredibly Tiny Percentage Of Stalking Incidents End In Prosecution, Charity Says

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Domestic violence helpline could save lives

Anti-violence campaigner Joyce Watson AM has voiced her support for the launch of the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline.

The Helpline provides a 24 hour, bilingual information signposting service, to help and guide people with experience of domestic abuse or sexual violence, who are in need of access to services such as advice, emergency support, safety, and knowledge of their rights and options.

Joyce has campaigned for many years against violence, and set up candlelit services, first in Llandaff Cathedral some years ago, then last November in Brecon Cathedral, to raise awareness of violence against women and children.

The Mid and West Wales Assembly Member said: “This Helpline could be a lifeline to someone facing violence in their own home.

“The promise of 24 hour support, safety, signposting, and sanctuary will make a huge difference in far too many cases.

“In the last ten years there have been 12 homicides in the Dyfed Powys Police area, and seven of these involved domestic abuse.

“Domestic abuse is an issue for all of Wales, rural as well as urban. It accounts for a quarter of recorded crime in England and Wales, and in many instances children are witnesses to this abuse.”

The Helpline was first launched in 2004 as the Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline and has since taken over 215,000 calls from people in need of help and support.

Mrs Watson, who is a member of the Assembly All Party Group on violence against women and children, added: “Both physical and mental violence can have a devastating effect. If you feel isolated or endangered in your own home and you live in a rural community, help can feel a long way away.”

45 per cent of women have experienced some form of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Last year police recorded 48,738 incidents across Wales, including 11,759 arrests and five homicides

Dyfed Powys Police recorded 1,943 domestic incidents

1,975 people entered Welsh refuges last year.

Minister for Local Government and Communities, Carl Sargeant, said: “Domestic abuse and sexual violence are simply not acceptable.

“I am passionate about this subject, and so I’m pleased that the Welsh Government has consistently maintained the budget dedicated to maintaining services such as the All Wales Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Helpline. The Helpline is a key part of our Right to be Safe strategy.

“As the new Helpline launches we will experience an increase in callers. This is not a failure in our efforts to stamp out such issues, it’s a success in that we will actually be reaching more of the victims who desperately need the support of the Helpline. With the launch of the new Helpline I firmly believe we are heading in the right direction.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse contact the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 80 10 800, or for more information go to www.allwaleshelpline.org.uk

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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