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CPS clarifies approach to stalking offences under coronavirus lockdown

The Crown Prosecution Service has sought to clarify how it investigates and prosecutes stalking cases during the current lockdown. This, says the CPS, follows discussion online and in the press concerning the issue.

The CPS says that it shares the concern that victims of stalking must feel supported during lockdown. It takes stalking extremely seriously, and remains determined to bring perpetrators to justice and provide victims with the greatest possible protection from repeat offending to help them feel safe.

Stalking and domestic abuse continue to be treated as a high priority offences under the interim CPS and NPCC coronavirus charging protocol. Virtual training has been delivered to the Stalking Helpline to help support their work at this time.

In recent years, the CPS has developed a joint protocol with police which, it says, improved how stalking offences are handled. Prosecutors completed mandatory training on stalking last year, and CPS stalking leads regularly engage with their police counterparts.

The overall message of the CPS is that across the organisation it is working closely with police colleagues and specialist support organisations to ensure that victims are supported at this time and "that these deplorable crimes continue to be brought to justice".