When the Scottish legal system changed in 2010 to make stalking a criminal offence the UK decided not to change its laws. However this has now been revised and it is now a criminal offence to stalk a person in the UK.
Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person.
In England and Wales, it is estimated that 120,000 victims, mostly women, are stalked each year but only 53,000 are recorded as crimes by police and only one in 50 of those actually lead to an offender being jailed.
Until now the offenders/abusers have only ever been charged with harassment which is a less serious offence, which in turn leads to a more lenient sentence.
It has become clear to the Uk government that the anti-stalking legislation which has been in place in Scotland has changed the number of offenders that have been prosecuted dramatically. This therefore demonstrated how successful the change in the legislation was.
Most of the time when people are being stalked it is by somebody that they already know, maybe a friend or an ex-partner. People who have been stalked talk about feeling like a prisoner in their own home. It is wrong that people should feel like this and there be no, or very little punishment for the perpetrators.
With the use of social networking sites, stalking is becoming more of an issue and the problem seems to be growing. Therefore it is only right that the government have done something to tackle this problem. The more prosecutions that there are for this crime, the more it will deter people from taking part in it.