Shana Grice, a 19-year old from Brighton, was killed at the hands of her stalker ex, Michael Lane. Grice had reported Lane to Sussex Police, but to no avail. Instead, Grice was fined for “wasting police time”.
© Family handout/Sussex Police/PA
Lane was given a life sentence later in 2017, and the officers responsible for dealing with Grice’s case poorly will finally get their due. The officers will face disciplinary action: two officers still on duty will go through gross misconduct proceedings at a public hearing the coming month, while the retired officer will be subjected to internal misconduct action.
In the wake of the revelation, six employees at Sussex Policy – three staff members and three officers – will receive further training and management advice.
The Assistant Chief Constable had this to say:
“We deeply regret the tragic death of Shana Grice in 2016 and are committed to constantly improving our understanding of stalking and our response to it.
When we looked at the circumstances leading to Shana’s murder, we felt we may not have done the very best we could and made a referral to the IOPC.”
During Lane’s sentencing, the judge came to the conclusion the officers had stereotyped and jumped to conclusions without solid grounds regarding Grice’s case.
Meanwhile, Shana’s parents, Richard Green and Sharon Grice, feel as though their daughter paid the ultimate price for the failure of the Sussex Police.
The details of this stalking case are too awful. He fitted a tracker to her car, slashed her tyres, pulled her hair in the street. She was fined for wasting police time. He eventually murdered her and set fire to her bedroom. https://t.co/qsNTTAFgt3
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) April 10, 2019
When it came to light that Lane was charged for the murder of Shana Grice, it was revealed that Lane had already previously been reported to the police for stalking by 13 other women!
Although the steps being taken to curb Sussex Police’s failure to protect and serve are being appreciated, it will not bring back the life that was lost.
What is alarming is that an inquiry launched by the HMICFRS (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services) concluded that polices forces across the country fail to protect victims from their stalkers.
Stalking and harassment offences are not being investigated by police consistently or effectively, according to a damning new report. Forces around the country have been urged to make improvements by an inquiry ordered after the murder of 19yo Shana Grice https://t.co/o7LHg0AAUv
— Jess Brammar (@jessbrammar) April 10, 2019
Stalking has taken on a new form in this day and age, where stalkers can easily keep track of their victims through social media. Referred to as cyberstalking, the act involves the use of electronic communications to frighten or harass someone. Examples include sending threatening messages, misusing photos without consent, and so on.
Seeing how big of a problem stalking really is, victims should do whatever it takes to stay safe and secure. This includes taking appropriate steps to stay invisible online.
One effective way of making this possible is by using a reliable VPN. However, this does not mean the responsibility lies on the victim alone, and since Ivacy VPN is not all about profits, this Stalking Awareness Week we advise all our users, and even those that aren’t, to take great caution. As the authorities are primarily responsible to protect and serve, they should be contacted without fail.
Stalking victim, Amanda Playle, is one of many victims that is urging people to take stalking very seriously and asks them not to delay reporting. Amanda, from Bexhill, believed that she was being stalked by her ex. After being harassed for two years via messages and emails, the attention turned towards her friends, parents, boss, and daughter as well. According to Amanda, as soon as you get an uncomfortable message, you should report it to the police.
© Sussex Police/PA
As for what The National Stalking Awareness Week is all about, it focuses on the mental and emotional health of stalking victims. The event is commemorated with the hashtag #StalkingStealsLives, highlighting the trauma that victims have to go through.
That being said, if you fear being stalked online, make sure you do whatever it takes to mask your presence online. But if you feel as though things are getting out of hand, do not hesitate to contact your local law enforcement agency right away!