A HAMPSHIRE MP has backed a key bill to protect victims of stalking after telling of her own experience with the crime.

Mims Davies, who represents Eastleigh in Parliament, lent her support for the Stalking Protection Bill before it was sent for consideration in the House of Lords.

If the bill is successfully sent through Parliament, the bill will introduce stalking protection orders, providing the police with a vital additional tool to protect the victims of stalking and to deter perpetrators at the earliest opportunity.

The order will also ensure there are robust protections for victims of 'stranger stalking', and the onus will be on the police, not the victims, to bring in the orders.

Ms Davies said: "Having myself been subjected to stalking, in my previous career, which was little understood at the time and have since met with constituents in my Constituency Advice Surgeries who have regrettably been through the same, I know how worrying it can be. I am so pleased for the victims that this is not been taken on fully and rightly tackled.

"Every so often a Bill comes before Parliament that you know will fully make a real difference for those feeling most vulnerable in our society, and this is such a Bill. I am so grateful it will make a difference.

"That’s why I was so pleased to be in Westminster today so that I could work with Home Office Minister and Minister for Women Victoria Atkins, and colleagues across Parliament to support this Bill as it made another important step forward to being written in to law."

Previous Conservative Governments created two specific stalking offences to ensure that those responsible face justice, and through the Policing and Crime Act 2017 the maximum sentences for both stalking and harassment were raised from 5 to 10 years.