A piece in yesterday’s Times:
A 22-year-old man has become the first person to receive a new court order designed to tighten rules on stalking.
Connor Evans, from Lancing, West Sussex, was banned from contacting a woman in her early twenties under the country’s first stalking protection order.
Under the new rules, police can apply to magistrates for the order to prevent alleged perpetrators from contacting or approaching their alleged victims while their behaviour is investigated. The civil orders last until a further order is made but are expected to be in place for a minimum of two years. Breaches can result in five years in jail.
Mr Evan’s identity was disclosed at Brighton magistrates’ court yesterday. Applications to the court are meant to be heard in public and the details of the order, once granted, are a matter of public record, according to the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice.
Sussex police is understood to be the first force to have made an application for the order, which was granted in relation to a man’s “alleged online stalking of a woman”. Magistrates granted the order on Monday morning within hours of the rules coming into force.
The request for the order related to allegations that Mr Evans posed “a risk associated with stalking to another person and there is reasonable cause to believe the proposed order is necessary to protect another from such a risk”.
Court papers showed that Mr Evans was alleged to have sent Facebook messages to the woman saying that he wanted to meet her. He was also alleged to have attempted to contact her by other social network sites as well as by telephone and that he travelled to an address.
The civil order prohibits Mr Evans from contacting the woman directly or indirectly by any means. He was in court and did not contest the application, police said. A spokesman said that a criminal investigation was continuing and no charges had been brought.
Stalking prevention orders were announced two years ago. Writing in The Times while home secretary, Amber Rudd said: “We are taking steps to introduce a new civil stalking protection order to safeguard victims at the earliest possible stage.”
You can subscribe to The Times here.
Our last general election manifesto is here.
Our YouTube channel is here.
If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.