Police in Hackney made 59 arrests and charged 30 people in a two-week crackdown using recently enacted legislation which makes stalking a criminal offence.

The new law carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and aims to provide extra protection for victims of stalking.

Under the banner of Operation Athena, the Met is also using the law to target prolific and dangerous offenders responsible for both domestic violence and hate crime.

Detective Chief Inspector Shabnam Chaudhri said: “Operation Athena is just one way for us to target offenders in Hackney who think they can assault and abuse victims.”

The legislation and subsequent two-week operation coincided with White Ribbon day which falls on November 25th – the date the legislation came in to force.

On this this day each year men are urged to wear a white ribbon for two weeks as a visible pledge not to commit or condone domestic abuse.

During Operation Athena, Hackney’s Community Safety Unit (CSU) was assisted by borough officers in making arrests for a range of offences which included: common assault, harassment, malicious communications and several racially aggravated assaults and public order offences.

The police said the campaign does not just target females and encouraged male victims of domestic abuse to come forward.

Det Chf Insp Chaudhri promised police would work to “support both men and women in our community against these perpetrators”.

“We will work tirelessly everyday to bring domestic violence and hate crime offenders to justice,” she added.

To discuss domestic violence or hate crime, please call Hackney’s Community Safety Unit on 0207 275 4071.

Male victims suffering from domestic abuse are encouraged to come forward or call the advice line on 0808 801 0327. Advice can also be sought through www.mensadviceline.org.uk

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