Tougher measures to protect stalking victims backed by police commissioner after Hull man terrorised woman
THE new police and crime commissioner is backing calls for tougher measures to protect stalking victims after a Hull man terrorised a woman for 15 years.
Humberside police and crime commissioner Matthew Grove is adding his voice to calls on the Government to give the police increased powers to monitor stalkers for the safety of victims.
Hull stalker Nigel Grunnill has been locked up for plotting to murder a woman after a 15-year campaign of terror, which began when his victim went on just three dates with him.
When he is released, Grunnill can only be given a restraining order to stay away from the woman.
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He has breached previous restraining orders on at least six occasions.
Home Secretary Theresa May and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling are being asked by the Mail to consider introducing an order allowing police and probation officers to closely monitor stalkers using powers similar to ones used for sex offenders.
Mr Grove said: "The Mail has highlighted inadequacies in law enforcement and the legal system that increase the vulnerability of victims and tie the hands of those charged with protecting the public.
"It is largely thanks to the dedication of those working in the police, probation, prison and courts service, and not the system they operate in, that the victim in this case has not suffered even more.
"I welcome the Mail's calls and would be interested in assisting in any way I can."
Police chiefs and senior legal officials are also calling for a change in the law to protect stalking victims.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Leaver previously told the Mail: "Sometimes, people convicted of an offence of harassment find it relatively easy to continue to harass their victim once they have served their sentence.
"Offenders who have even indicated that they will continue to stalk someone are subject to few constraints on their behaviour.
"Some form of order limiting the behaviour of an offender and restricting their ability to target someone would help to significantly protect that person."
A dedicated order for stalkers would force them to register their address and car registration, ban them from accessing the internet or specific sites and enable the police to frequently visit them.
Grunnill, 37, has been given an indefinite restraining order to stay away from his victim Claire Gray but has breached it six times already.
In 2005, he was jailed for six years for threatening to kill her and trying to hire a hitman.
Just weeks before he was due to be released from jail for threatening to kill his victim, Grunnill, formerly of Queens Road, west Hull, made repeated threats to kill her again to three probation officers.
Grunnill pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to two counts of making threats to kill and was sentenced to a hospital order.
Mr Bishop, manager of Victim Support's Humber region, is also supporting the move.
He said: "I would support anything that gives added security and safety to victims of stalking.
"Stalking is a heinous crime, it greatly affects the lives of victims and can be traumatic for them.
"This type of order would make a difference to these cases."