INDEPENDENT NEWS

Time To Make Stalking A Crime

Published: Wed 22 May 2024 03:16 PM
Following a horrific case of stalking that ended in tragedy, Labour’s police spokesperson Ginny Andersen has drafted a bill that would add stalking to the Crimes Act.
“Stalking should be a crime. It can make a victim feel extremely unsafe and insecure, and in some cases result in serious assault, or even death,” Ginny Andersen said.
“In the case of Farzana Yaqubi, the Independent Police Conduct Authority found more should have been done to follow lines of enquiry in her case. There’s a chance her death could have been prevented.
“The Crimes (Stalking) Amendment Bill would make stalking a separate offence in Part 1 of the Crimes Act 1961 and carry a term of up to five years in prison.
“Stalking would be committed if a person causes another person to fear that violence will be used against them, or causes alarm or distress to the extent that it has an adverse impact on a person’s day-to-day activities.
“This could include following, watching, monitoring, tracking or spying upon a person; contacting, or attempting to contact, publishing material, monitoring, loitering, obstructing, interfering with property; or using a third party – individual or other entity – to harass or intimidate a person.
“I also propose an amendment to Section 9 of the Crimes Act, to point to some aspects of family violence that could constitute stalking.
“The murder of Farzana Yaqubi is a public case that could have been prevented, but there are plenty of other cases that go unreported. This bill will help ensure the safety and sanity of people in our community, and ensure police are treating stalking just like any other crime.
“This is about strengthening the rights of victims and ensuring our law is working to prevent people becoming the victim of repeated harassment, assault or violence.
“I have worked closely with experts in the sector to develop this bill and I will be engaging with all parties in Parliament to seek their support for a law that just makes sense to enact,” Ginny Andersen said.

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