Gracie's Law: Campaign to better protect stalking victims following death of Chesterfield's Gracie Spinks takes step forward

A campaign to tackle the issue of stalking set up in the wake of Gracie Spinks’ death has taken a step forward.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 4:28 pm

Brampton resident Jackie Barnett-Wheatcroft launched a petition in June calling for ‘Gracie’s Law’ to help better protect people who report stalking to police following the death of 23-year-old Gracie from Old Whittington.

It received backing by thousands of people across the Chesterfield Borough area and beyond – but despite this has been rejected numerous times by officials.

Now, Jackie is celebrating a step forward in the campaign after making some adjustments to the calls and setting up an online parliamentary petition which has already garned enough signatures to receive a response from the Government.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Picture kindly submitted by the family of Gracie Spinks.

She said: “The petitions I was sending in previously were all about changing the stalking law. I got the first two denied and after looking into it a bit more, the law is already there in some shape or form.

"I got in touch with Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, and just asked for ideas.

"He said we’d probably have to go down the funding route… they gave me some guidance and that’s why we’ve put in the petition for the Government to issue more funding for stalking advocates and to release man power from the police so that stalking complaints get looked at more thoroughly.”

Over 18,000 people had signed the petition as of Wednesday, meaning the Government has to respond.

It is now hoped that more will show their support and help gain the 100,000 signatures needed for the petition to considered for debate in Parliament.

For the time being Jackie, 48, said she is not giving up and is exhausting all other avenues to help protect stalking victims – including writing a letter directly to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

She added: “Lee Rowley MP has been in constant contact with me... he’s got me the details for Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins which is a great step forward.

"What I’m hoping to do is, when it does get debated in Parliament, Lee Rowley will be my source there and I’m going to literally write out the job description of what a stalking advocate should be.”

For more on the campaign visit the Gracie’s Law Facebook page or to sign the parliamentary petition click here.

Support your Derbyshire Times by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe.