New powers to tackle stalking are now available to police.

Stalking Protection Orders can now be imposed on perpetrators by forces such as Hertfordshire Constabulary to prevent potentially harmful behaviour.

The Stalking Protection Bill, passed in Parliament last month, means police can now apply for the order on behalf of the victim.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is training its officers on the new legislation and powers with assistance from the Alice Ruggles Trust.

The force is emphasising its new abilities as part of National Stalking Awareness Week, which started on Monday (April 8).

The Safer Places charity is also planning to provide six caseworkers specialising in this matter from April 15, with funding from the ministry of housing, local government and communities and Hertfordshire County Council.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Cheek said: “The introduction of SPOs means we can impose the threat of criminal sanctions on perpetrators. Another useful tool in our armoury to protect victims of stalking sooner and reduce the risk of harm against them.”

Janet Dalrymple, chief executive of Safer Places, added: “Stalking is a very serious matter because in high risk cases of domestic abuse at least, stalking behaviour is the greatest predictor of the victim being seriously harmed or killed.

“Hertfordshire is a great county where agencies work together and by working closely we are confident we will be able to have a big impact on this terrifying crime.”

To access Safer Places’ ISAC services call 0330 1025 811 (24/7) or email

Victims of stalking can get advice from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust by calling the national stalking helpline (free from most telephones) on 0808 802 0300 or via

Further information about the Alice Ruggles Trust can be found at

Anyone affected by domestic abuse in Hertfordshire can get guidance and support via the Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 8088 088 or by visiting the Herts Sunflower website

In an emergency situation always call 999.