Police in Sussex are leading the way over a new Stalking Protection law.
Stalking Protection Orders or SPOs come into effect from today. Sussex Police are already planning to apply for SPOs during this week for some cases. The new Orders will be obtained from Magistrates enabling police to protect victims of stalking. Subjects can be made to undertake offender rehabilitation courses or mental health assessments. They can also be required to stay away from specific areas and from contact with named people. Any breach of an Order is itself a criminal offence punishable by Magistrates or at Crown Court.
Sussex has recorded the second highest number of stalking reports anywhere in the UK after the Met. From 1 April to 31 December last year, Sussex Police recorded and investigated over 1,500 stalking offences; of those 676 were in West Sussex.