North Oxfordshire MP, Victoria Prentis, has welcomed an announcement by the Ministry of Justice which will see the doubling of maximum prison sentences for stalking offences. The move follows a long campaign led by fellow Conservative MP, Alex Chalk, which Victoria had also lent her support to by signing an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill.

Those convicted of stalking offences will now face a maximum prison sentence of between seven and fourteen years. Ministers are planning to implement the change through the amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill tabled by Alex Chalk MP, which will also make it possible for the courts to impose longer sentences in the most serious cases. Alongside these measures, the Ministry of Justice has recently implemented Stalker Protection Orders to help keep victims safe.

The Government hopes the plans will ensure the punishment reflects the severity of the crime and its damaging consequences on victims. It is expected that the changes will protect victims for a longer period of time.

Following the announcement, Victoria commented: “I very much welcome an increase in prison sentences for stalking offences. Stalking can have devastating consequences on the lives of victims. I have heard of numerous accounts of terrifying campaigns of abuse that can last years, leaving sufferers too afraid to leave the security of their home.

I do hope that, through these changes, victims can feel protected by our justice system, enabling them to rebuild their lives.”