Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon has welcomed the introduction of the Protection from Stalking Bill.
The party’s Justice Spokesperson said:
“Stalking is a deeply insidious, invasive psychological form of criminal abuse with shocking side effects and consequences for victims.
“It is regrettable that we do not yet have a specific criminal offence of stalking, but it is to be welcomed that this is now being addressed.
“Sinn Féin made a submission to the consultation on stalking legislation and I am very pleased that all of our recommendations have been included in the Bill, including: a new specific offence of stalking; greater penalties than existing offences of harassment; and the introduction of Stalking Protection Orders for which breaches will be made a criminal offence.
“I understand the serious harm that stalking can cause to an individual and their families, and in some cases it can even tragically result in the loss of life.
“This legislation is therefore essential to protect future victims of stalking and I hope that this can be done urgently.”