Liberty conference discusses stalking

STALKING legislation and the protection of children were top of the agenda at Liberty's first post-election law and order conference last Saturday.

John Wadham, director of Liberty, said the purpose of the London conference was to ensure that justified concerns about crime and the “spat between the two political parties over which was toughest on crime” did not encourage reductions in the rights of suspects.

The conference, which took place after The Lawyer went to press, aimed to bring together the crime policies of the police, politicians, lawyers and campaigners.

Speakers included Alun Michael, minister of state for criminal policy, and Charles Pollard, chief constable of Thames Valley Police.

Alison Burt, of Bindman and Partners, who was due to take part in a workshop on the forthcoming legislation on stalking and harassment, told The Lawyer that the Protection From Harassment Act 1997, which will come into force next month, was too vague.

“My experience with domestic violence cases has shown me that the standard of treatment received by people from police officers varies dramatically,” she said.

The pros and cons of a sex offenders register were also due to be discussed at a workshop on protecting children, led by Liberty's legal director, Jonathan Cooper.