Stalking and harassment: An inspection of Sussex Police commissioned by the police and crime commissioner, and an update on national recommendations in HMICFRS’s 2017 report (9443)

Cause of concern: We are concerned that police forces are dealing with breaches of orders in isolation, and are not recognising or properly addressing the wider patterns of victimisation. As a result, forces might not be adequately assessing the risks to some victims, and might not be appropriately investigating and prosecuting cases.

Recommendations: Within six months chief constables should ensure that forces record stalking or harassment crimes if appropriate when victims report breaches of orders.

Within six months the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead and the CPS lead should consider whether they can do more to inform police officers and lawyers of the importance of treating breaches of orders as evidence of a wider pattern of offending, and when and in what circumstances officers and lawyers should treat this as further evidence of stalking or harassment.

Within six months chief constables should ensure that officers are aware of the importance of treating breaches of orders, where appropriate, as part of a wider pattern of offending, and ensure that force policy and guidance helps officers to do this. .

[on]10th April 2019 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]4th June 2019 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]4th June 2019 [comment]

The force has made contact with the Home Office in relation to them clarifying the crime recording rules in these circumstances. The force is awaiting a reply.In the meantime, the first tranche of stalking training products came out from the CoP last month. In order to get these out to the relevant teams as soon as possible, they have embarked on a process of training for all FCR and CB staff, included in which is comment on NCRS and the recording of breaches of orders. ACC Prophet has agreed additional funding to support this training. They have also begun to roll out training to all front line responders, again using the CoP package, which is being delivered at shift briefings. Once the flex pattern begins in the autumn, it has been agreed that the first flex training day will be on stalking and this will be revisited in greater detail.

For further review Autumn 2019