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 (9450)

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]7th June 2019 [status]being-progressed[/status][/on][on]7th June 2019 [comment]

The force has assessed the recommendations and advises that it:

'they have identified over 40 staff and officers who will be trained as Stalking SPOC’s, we have a launch CPD event on the 10th July to start raising awareness. We are working with the OPCC and local safeguarding organisations to improve safety planning and support for victims. As part of the PRISM project around identifying the risk in relation to perpetrators and the signposting for programmes and support, perpetrators engaged in stalking that has a DA element (that is going to be the vast majority) will be included and signposted accordingly and this will mean that if they are appropriate and they recognise that their behaviour is not right then they may be eligible for a perpetrator programme. CI Mitch Fox is leading on this project and this will out to tender for organisations to bid to complete this work and being able to work with Stalking perpetrators would be a reasonable and relevant criteria for any successful bid.”

This recommendation will be subject to further review in 2019.