Public supports introduction of stalking offence in Northern Ireland

Date published: 05 November 2019

The Department of Justice has published a report on public responses to the creation of a new stalking offence in Northern Ireland.

The report analyses responses to the ‘Stalking – A Serious Concern’ public consultation.  The majority of respondents strongly supported the introduction of stalking legislation here in Northern Ireland.

The Department has welcomed the clear message from the public consultation, but notes that a change in legislation will be a matter for an incoming Justice Minister, who would decide on stalking legislation being introduced in a future Northern Ireland Assembly.

The review and public consultation also considered measures to make the justice system more effective in dealing with reports of stalking behaviour and supporting the victims of stalking.

Peter May, Department of Justice Permanent Secretary said: “We would like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation, including stakeholder organisations and people who have been directly affected by stalking.” 

“Your contributions have helped shape our view on how to deal with stalking and offer better protection to victims.  To this end, the Department continues to work closely with criminal justice agencies and victims’ groups to promote best practice models and guidance on addressing stalking behaviours.”

For further information on the report visit Justice-ni/publications

Notes to editors: 

1.  The review of the law on harassment and stalking was commissioned by former Minister of Justice, Claire Sugden.

2.  The consultation paper ‘Stalking- A Serious Concern’ was developed in collaboration with a Stalking Reference Group which included: Women’s Aid, Victim Support NI, Stalking NI, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Lucy Kay (Stalking Advocate – Hampshire Stalking Clinic), the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and the Department of Justice.  The public consultation ran for 12 weeks from November 2018 until February 2019. 

3.  For all media queries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 028 90 378110.

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