Protection from Harassment Act 1997

In 2012, the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 was amended to identify stalking as a criminal offence.

Stalking is a crime and holds up to a ten year prison sentence. 

Stalking Protection Order

The Stalking Protection Act 2019 introduced Stalking Protection Orders (SPO). An SPO is a civil order, however, breach of an SPO is a criminal offence that can result in prison time and/or a fine. SPOs are used to prevent a perpetrator from carrying out acts associated with stalking—

  • (a) prohibits the perpetrator from doing anything described in the order. An example of this could be preventing the perpetrator from attending locations they know the victim is likely to be.
  • (b) requires the perpetrator to do anything described in the order. An example of this could be to positively engage with an intervention programme specifically designed to address their stalking behaviour.

A victim does not have to be supportive of a criminal prosecution to gain an SPO. The purpose of an SPO is to protect the victim from further incidents of stalking.

Non-Molestation Order

A Non-Molestation Order (also referred to as a Non-Mol) is a court order to protect a victim and their children from being harmed/threatened by an abuser, such as a partner/ex-partner, close family member, or someone they live with/have lived with. Learn more about who can apply for a Non-Molestation Order. If the abuser breaches this order they can be arrested.

Online Safety Act 2023

The Online Safety Act 2023 makes it a criminal offence to use social media or online messaging platforms to send threats.


If you are in immediate danger call 999