STATEN ISLAND — The city's first ever anti-stalking initiative has been launched on Staten Island.
The project is aimed at increasing arrests and awareness, the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) announced on Friday.
"Prosecuting domestic violence offenders has been a priority of my administration since day one," Donovan said in a release.
"This specialized approach to stalking will provide police officers and my prosecutors with the legal know-how to evaluate and identify a course of conduct that constitutes stalking.
“Research shows that most domestic incidents that end in violence were preceded by acts of stalking carried out by the offender. My hope is that if we arrest and convict an offender for stalking, we are potentially saving a victim from future harm."
People with repeated non-arrestable offenses, like harassment, will have their cases reviewed to determine if they can show a "course of conduct" for a stalking arrest, the NYPD said,
"This predictive approach will help identify potential problems and afford opportunities to take the necessary steps to prevent further tragedies," Police Commissioner William Bratton said.
Donovan also assigned an Assistant District Attorney who will review all intimate partner stalking arrests made through the program. Victims will be assigned a case manager specially trained to manage stalking cases.
The number of domestic violence cases in Staten Island has steadily been on the rise for the past several years, OCDV said. From 2010 to 2013, the borough had a 37% increase in domestic violence arrests, and a 13% increase from the start of this year until May, OCDV said.