London’s Victims’ Commissioner is to call on the government to reform the law against stalking after a man who has been subjecting her to it for nearly 20 years was convicted of three breaches of a lifetime restraining order.
Claire Waxman, who was appointed to her London post by Sadiq Khan in June 2017, said in a statement that her case has shown the current legislation, which she campaigned for, to be “flawed and not working for stalking victims” and has also reinforced her view that the government’s draft Victims’ Bill, as it is currently written,”will make no difference to victims navigating our delayed and broken justice system”.
She thanked the Metropolitan Police – in particular a now-retired officer, Daniel Candler – and the Crown Prosecution Service for their work, saying it is clear to her that the Met’s Stalking Threat Assessment Centre, commissioned by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and run in partnership with the National Probation Service and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, is “making a positive difference to some victims”.
However, Waxman stressed that the Met must now “work hard to ensure that expertise and knowledge reaches the front line and can help all stalking victims in London”. She added that as a result of her case she is working with the Met to review its Witness Care Units, which, Waxman says, “have been struggling to meet victims’ needs”.
The offender, former television producer Elliot Fogel, received a restraining order in 2006 banning him from having any contact with Waxman, having been convicted the previous year of harassing her. But a court later heard that he began breaching the order within days and in 2010 this led to him being jailed for 16 weeks. He received a further prison sentence of three-and-a-half years in 2015 as a result of continuing infractions.
Waxman’s work for the Mayor focuses on providing victims of crime with a stronger voice in the criminal justice system, including women and girls subjected to violence. Khan invested £47 million in victims’ services in the capital over a three-year period, most of it provided by the Ministry of Justice and the rest from MOPAC’s budget.
Photograph of Claire Waxman from Greater London Authority.
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