German government proposes stronger laws against stalkers

BERLIN: The German government plans to clamp down on stalking by lowering the threshold for victims to file criminal complaints.

Current law requires that victims show they are "seriously affected" by stalking, such as by having to change jobs or move home.

The Cabinet agreed Wednesday to put forward a bill to permit prosecution of stalkers without proof of a serious impact.

German news agency dpa reported that according to the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim about 12 percent of all people in Germany are affected by stalking at least once in their life.

The bill follows a recent legal reform to tighten the laws on sexual assault.