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Public consultation could see stalking become a crime

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The Department of Justice is seeking views on how to address stalking in Northern Ireland, with a series of public events planned for January (stock photo)

The Department of Justice is seeking views on how to address stalking in Northern Ireland, with a series of public events planned for January (stock photo)

The Department of Justice is seeking views on how to address stalking in Northern Ireland, with a series of public events planned for January (stock photo)

Stalking could become an offence in Northern Ireland following the launch of a public consultation.

The Department of Justice is seeking views on how to address stalking in Northern Ireland, with a series of public events planned for January.

The Stalking: A Serious Concern consultation focuses on the impact of stalking on victims and the wider community and asks whether the introduction of a specific offence of stalking could offer better protection to victims in Northern Ireland.

Department of Justice permanent secretary Peter May said: "Stalking can have a devastating effect on victims.

"The impact of stalking can be life-changing and can lead to loss of life. To disrupt such behaviour and to shield its victims we must ensure that the law provides the best possible protection for those affected.

"We are seeking views from the public and from organisations and groups with an interest in preventing stalking.

"We would particularly like to hear from individuals who have been directly affected by stalking, and to hear about experiences in seeking help and support from the criminal justice system."

Belfast Telegraph