I propose, with the leave of the House, that we take motions 8 and 9 together.
Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 118(6)),
National Health Service
That the draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) Regulations 2022, which were laid before this House on 14 December 2021, be approved.
That the draft Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2022, which was laid before this House on 15 December 2021, be approved.—(Craig Whittaker.)
Question agreed to.
I rise to present this petition on the subject of stalking advocates. In June 2021, my constituent Gracie Spinks was murdered by somebody who had been stalking her for a considerable time. The murder absolutely shocked Chesterfield to its foundations, and her funeral brought the town to a standstill. In the light of that appalling event, my constituent Jackie Barnett-Wheatcroft brought together a petition, which was signed by over 17,500 people, on the issue of stalking advocates. It was a paper petition that was rushed out shortly after the appalling murder, and it did not comply with the exact terms of parliamentary petitions. Subsequently, an e-petition was formed—we have debated it today—which 100,000 people have signed. I also wanted to present a petition in Parliament, which I do today, signed by 204 of my constituents.
The petition reads:
“The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to consider the concerns of the petitioners and take immediate action to reallocate funds to provide additional funding for stalking advocates in order to support victims of stalking.”
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,
Notes that the 2019/20 Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated that 3.6% of adults aged 16-74 experienced stalking in the last year, equivalent to an estimated 1.5 million victims, 977,000 women and 526,000 men; declares that stalking advocates for victims of stalking are invaluable due to the specialist independent support, advice and advocacy that they provide; further that stalking advocates provide victims with a main point of contact and support throughout their journey; further that additional funding for stalking advocates to work with victims of stalking would help support victims; further that increased support would prevent unnecessary distress and suffering of victims and their families; and further that additional support should also be given to police to allow cases to be investigated more thoroughly, possibly preventing threats to life.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to consider the concerns of the petitioners and take immediate action to reallocate funds to provide additional funding for stalking advocates in order to support victims of stalking.
And the petitioners remain, etc.]