The Stalking Protection Orders (2020) legislation only protects individuals to an extent against serial stalkers, but not from future victims. Therefore, there needs to be a register similar to the sex offender’s register put in place to disallow serial stalkers from continuing to stalk. They can be monitored when on the list and can be used in professional environments to discourage the ability of stalkers gaining jobs and professions where it may enable them to stalk.
Todays society has progressed the ability to be stalked mainly through the use of social media platforms. Various mainstream apps such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram all allow the ability to locate someone freely at any time through location services on any device, globally. Due to this, a lot of people normalise location services or do not realise their location services are telling anonymous strangers where they are at all times.
As more and more young people are gaining access to these apps and devices, stalking is becoming more and more frequent and easy to do. Not only are these young people not aware that stalking is a criminal offence but they’re also not aware that it could be happening to them. Between April 2018 to March 2019, the Office for National Statistics found that 13,541 individuals, were victims of at least one form of stalking. The majority being single young women aged 16 – 24-year olds in student occupations.
Victims such as Hollie Gazzard and Suzy Lamplugh who went about their daily working lives, lost it all to someone who was potentially close to them, who wanted to harm them. but they were not aware that these individuals potentially stalked these girls until their final days, to plan out the perfect crime.
A stalker register would be an essential way to protect future victims, especially females, from harm due to being given the opportunity to obtain information of individuals of interest, including partners. The register would also work as a deterrent in that stalking perpetrators are treated just the same as a sex offender.
Don’t let what happened to Hollie and Suzy, happen to anyone else. Support the creation of a Stalker Register.