Stalking Protection Orders
If you are being stalked the police can apply for a Stalking Protection Order (SPO). A SPO allows police to get involved at an early stage of a stalking case, so they can try to stop stalking behaviours before they become more serious.
When can police apply for a SPO
The police can apply to the magistrates court for a SPO if it seems like
- a person has carried out acts linked with stalking
- a person poses a risk linked with stalking
- there is a good reason to believe the SPO is needed to protect another person
Making a SPO
When a court makes a SPO, it lasts between two and five years. The court can make an interim order when immediate protection from risk is needed. The order can also be changed, renewed or dismissed by the court.
What does a SPO do
A SPO can ban a person from going to certain places like the victim's home or to places a victim often visits.
A SPO can also stop a person contacting the victim by other means, like telephone, post, email, text message, social media or from approaching the victim in person, either at all or within a set distance.
If a SPO is given to someone
If a person is given a SPO, they must tell the police their name or names and their home address, within a period of three days from the date when the order is served.
Breaking a SPO
If a person breaks the rules of a SPO they could face up to five years imprisonment or a fine or both.