Watford Council calls for more effective tracking of stalkers and domestic abusers
At Watford Borough Council’s Full Council meeting this week Councillors have unanimously voted to support campaigns calling for more effective tracking of stalkers and domestic abusers.
Currently going through the UK Parliament is the Domestic Abuse Bill which, among other things, places the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme on statutory footing. While this has been welcomed, many argue that it doesn’t go far enough as it still places the onus on victims to seek information, sometimes putting them in danger. There is also currently no duty on police services to identify, track and manage stalkers and domestic abusers.
The Motion passed by Full Council commits the Mayor to write to the Home Secretary calling for stalkers and domestic abusers to be included on the Violent and Sexual Offender’s Register to further protect the victims of these crimes.
Karen Collett, Deputy Mayor of Watford, said “I am so glad the Council have passed this motion and support the calls for tracking of stalkers and domestic abusers. We have seen that reports of domestic violence and stalking have increased since the start of the pandemic due to more people being forced to stay at home and the perpetrators knowing this. It’s time that the burden was taken away from victims and the authorities took more control of protecting the most vulnerable in our communities”
Jessica Stiff, Councillor for Park Ward, said “We have seen through the pandemic various initiatives come to light to enable victims of domestic abuse to flee their situations. But why do we rely on the people targeted to take the first step? By including stalkers and domestic abusers on the Violent and Sexual Offenders Register we would be sending the message to victims that they are just that – victims – and the police and authorities are there to help, not penalise them for the situation they find themselves in.”
- More information on the Domestic Abuse Bill is available here: https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2019-21/domesticabuse.html
- Full text of the motion is available here: https://watford.moderngov.co.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=13466