National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Stalking and Harassment, Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said:
“Victims of stalking and harassment look to the police to protect them and HMIC’s report shows that we must do better.
“HMIC identified areas of good practice but we now need to make sure that’s happening consistently across the country. We will review the joint Stalking Protocol with the Crown Prosecution Service and look again at how officers can use protection orders to protect people in cases of harassment as well as stalking. We are in the process of commissioning research to give us evidence of what works, and forces will implement new guidance from the College of Policing to help officers investigating stalking intervene early and give the right help to victims.
“I will be writing to all chief constables to make sure officers are aware of the powers they have to tackle cases of stalking or harassment and that cases must be recorded and monitored in line with legislative requirements to prosecute people for the highest harm offence they have committed. We want to see numbers of people prosecuted for stalking and harassment increase, but we will act to safeguard victims even where a conviction isn’t possible.”