New bill will see stalking become a standalone offence

People will soon be able to seek restraining orders against stalkers, without having to secure a criminal prosecution.

It’s part of a new Bill from the Justice Minister which will see stalking and non-fatal strangulation become standalone offences.

The Bill is set to become law in the autumn and includes new maximum sentences of up to 10 years for stalking and assault causing harm, while conspiracy to murder could see a life sentence imposed.

Minister Helen McEntee says it toughens up the laws on stalking and domestic violence.

“What we will introduce for the first time are orders that do not require a criminal prosecution, so they are easier for victims to obtain.

“They essentially allow for earlier intervention when it comes to stalking, but they will also allow for an order to be made against someone who is not just in a close relationship with that person, which is currently the case with domestic violence orders.”

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