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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 194070 Find in a Library
Title: Look Who'stalking: Seeking a Solution to the Problem of Stalking
Author(s): Michael J. Allen
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Blackstone Press Ltd
London, W12 8AA, England
Sale Source: Blackstone Press Ltd
Aldine Place
London, W12 8AA,
United Kingdom
Document: HTML
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article examines the phenomenon of stalking and considers the approaches being used to counter it by victims, prosecutors, and the courts in England and Wales.
Abstract: This article defines "stalking" as "a course of conduct which harasses, threatens, intimidates, molests, alarms, or causes distress to an individual and which is carried out either for that purpose or for the purpose of compelling that person to do or refrain from doing anything which that person has a right to refrain from doing or to do." Pressure for a law against stalking in Great Britain has been increasing over a number of years. In the meantime, action in the criminal courts is being taken against stalkers, raising questions about the current state of the law in relation to nonfatal offenses against the person generally and the role of the judiciary in developing the law in this area. The author reviews how various current laws are being used to prosecute stalkers for nonfatal offenses. Civil remedies are also reviewed. The author concludes that stalking is not being addressed adequately by current legislation or by the attempts of the courts to bring stalking behavior within the parameters of other offenses. An anti-stalking law is necessary to identify and deal with this conduct. Such legislation, however, requires careful drafting and a grading of offenses and penalties. It also must be linked to other processes, particularly non-molestation orders, so as to enable early intervention before the conduct becomes serious. Police, courts, and prisons are not the whole solution to the problem of stalking, however; probation officers, social workers, and mental health practitioners have roles to play in countering and preventing stalking behavior. 41 references
Main Term(s): Crime prevention planning
Index Term(s): Anti-stalking laws; Civil remedies; Crime specific countermeasures; Criminal codes; Foreign laws; Stalkers
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