Jail terms for stalkers to be doubled from five to ten years

The maximum jail terms for stalking and harassment are to be increased from five to ten years in the UK.
The average sentence for those convicted of stalking in 2014 – 194 people – was 15 months.
But justice minister Sam Gyimah said such crimes needed to be “properly punished” and that stalkers “torment their victims and can make everyday life almost unbearable.”
If the offender is convicted of religiously and racially aggravated stalking or harassment the jail term will rise from seven to 14 years.
Mr Gyimah, the MP for East Surrey, said there was also a need to ensure proper recognition where an offender had mental health issues.
Currently there are special powers to allow police to ban a suspected stalker from going near their victim even before they have been arrested.
The changes will apply to sentencing in England and Wales and will be brought in as an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill.

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