A Mid and West Wales MS has criticised the criminal justice system for “failing victims of stalking.”

In the past year there were over 1.6 million victims of stalking in England and Wales.

Among the general population around 20.6 per cent of women and 8.7 per cent of men aged 16 and over reported having experienced some form of this crime.

Despite the high number of cases, criminal convictions remain low.

With the Suzy Lamplugh Trust reporting last year that only 6.6 per cent of stalking reports to police result in charges, and only 1.4 per cent end in conviction.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the justice system, citing a lack of understanding about what constitutes stalking, and the grave risks it poses to victims.

Party Leader and Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds said: “Stalking is a pervasive and damaging crime that can rob victims of their self-confidence, it can make them feel as though they are never truly safe.

“Despite the magnitude of this problem, those effected by this horrendous crime are being failed by a criminal justice system devoid of both sympathy and understanding.

“Victims are being denied justice and this cannot stand.”