The Investigatory Powers Act (Amendment) Bill would amend the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, which governs lawful access by public bodies to communications and data. It was introduced in the House of Lords in November 2023
E-petition 593769, Provide more funding for stalking advocates for victims of stalking, calls for the following:
The Government should provide more funding for stalking advocates for victims of stalking. This would help support victims, and should also help the police to investigate cases more thoroughly, potentially helping prevent threats to life.
Funding increased provision of stalking advocates should prevent further harm from stalkers to their victims, including death. This should help prevent unnecessary distress and suffering to victims and their families.
The petition was set up following the death of Gracie Spinks, who is thought to have been killed by a former colleague who had stalked her.
The petition has received over 105,000 signatures and is due to close on 3 February 2022.
What are stalking advocates?
ensuring the police investigate cases of stalking, collect evidence, and apply appropriate protection orders
risk assessing your situation and putting plans in place to keep you safe
representing your voice with the police, social services, housing or your employer
accompanying you to court
linking you in with other forms of support as needed
In September 2020 the University of Central Lancashire published ‘They speak for you when you can’t speak‘, an academic review of the National Stalking Advocacy Service run by the charity Paladin. The review found that service users described “lengthy periods of stalking and repeated calls to the police” prior to accessing support from Paladin, and that “ISAC support was critical in improving the responses from criminal justice agencies”. However, the review cautioned that many victims faced a “difficult and isolating” path to accessing support and that Paladin’s service capacity was limited by funding constraints.
The Government’s response
The Government responded to the e-petition on 27 August 2021. It set out a range of recent funding announcements:
In 2021-22, the Ministry of Justice will provide just under £151 million for victim and witness support services. This includes an extra £51 million to increase support for rape and domestic abuse victims; the latter can include stalking that takes place in a domestic abuse context (i.e. where the stalker is a former partner or a family member of the victim).The Home Office provided £97,000 of funding to Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service to enable them to engage additional Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers between April 2020 and March 2021 and thereby help to address the risks to victims during the coronavirus pandemic.To help ensure victims and survivors are supported, the Home Office also part-funds the National Stalking Helpline, run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, and has recently tripled its funding, such that it will now provide up to £155,000 this year. The additional funding will, amongst other things, enable the Trust to expand its advocacy service outside London.
- the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which includes a statutory requirement for the Government to issue “a comprehensive perpetrator strategy that aims to bring more perpetrators to justice and reduce reoffending”
- new advice issued by the College of Policing on how the police should respond to and investigate reports of stalking
- Home Office funding of £11.3 million to 25 Police and Crime Commissioners to support domestic abuse and stalking perpetrator programmes
- a new cross-Government Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, which includes a commitment to work with the police to ensure they are making proper use of Stalking Protection Orders to address stalking behaviours at an early stage
There will be a Westminster Hall debate on the motion that 'this House has considered tackling off-road biking' on Tuesday 20 February 2024 2.30-4pm. The debate will be led by Peter Gibson MP
Motion to approve the Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2024/25 on Wednesday 7 February 2024. This is how Parliament approves the central police funding allocation for each force every financial year.