Laura Richards 503

Co-founder and Director of Paladin, the UK’s first National Stalking Advocacy Service

Laura is co-founder and Director of Paladin, the UK’s first National Stalking Advocacy Service. Paladin supports, advises and co-ordinates the community response to victims of stalking. Paladin was set up following the highly successful All Party Parliamentary Stalking Law Reform Campaign. Laura spearheaded the stalking law reform campaign which led to stalking becoming a criminal offence on November 25 2012. Laura also co-founded the first National Stalking Helpline in 2010 and launched and co-ordinated the UKs first National Stalking Awareness Week in 2011. Laura more recently spearheaded the Domestic Violence Law Reform Campaign to criminalise the pattern of abuse, coercive control and psychological abuse. This was successfully achieved in less than 12 months. Laura advised on the new law and the statutory guidance which was implemented on December 29 2015. Laura also developed and delivered the first training on the new law. Laura continues to spearhead a high profile campaign for a register for serial stalkers and domestic violence offenders and for sentencing guidelines for stalking.

Laura advocated on behalf of Caroline Criado Perez and Stella Creasy, MP on the high profile ‘Twitter abuse’ case in 2013 which resulted in numerous offenders being put before the courts. Laura has won numerous awards for her work on stalking including being selected as one of the top ten women in business in Marie Claire’s 2014 ‘Women At the Top’ Awards, the Charity Times ‘Campaigning Team of the Year’, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust ‘Talking Stalking’ Award and Dod’s Charity Champions National Charity of the year Award on behalf of the charity Laura co-founded, Protection Against Stalking.

Laura previously worked in intelligence and serious crime for over a decade at New Scotland Yard and was responsible for setting up the first Homicide Prevention Unit in the UK, Laura was the head of the Violent Crime Intelligence and Analysis Unit in the Metropolitan Police Service and also established third party reporting and intelligence protocols with the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre (the Haven) in London. Laura advises the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Police Services across the UK and the Home Office on violent crime and public protection, the Independent Police Complaints Commission regarding the murders in Essex, was subject matter expert on the NCALT Stalking and Harassment Training package for police and has recently developed the Home Office training on Stalking and Harassment. Laura is co-author of the ‘Policing Domestic Violence’ book, which is part of the Practical Policing Guide series published by Oxford University Press.

Laura was responsible for developing the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour based Violence (DASH 2009) Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model on behalf of ACPO and in partnership with Safe Lives. Laura has also been involved in assessing the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) across the UK on behalf of Safe Lives. Laura was also responsible for instigating the Multi-agency Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) working with the Solicitor General and the Home Office, influencing legislative change in the UK. She worked with the Home Office developing guidance and training and is a reader of DHRs on behalf of the Home Office.

Laura provides advice on rape, domestic violence and stalking cases, as well as on homicides including so-called ‘honour killings’. She is an experienced trainer and has trained thousands of police officers, frontline and specialist professionals in the UK and internationally. Laura has spent several months training and working with the Behavioural Analysis Units at the National Centre for the Analysis of Violent Crime within the FBI. She has received three commendations for tenacity, leadership and her work on homicide prevention, as well as receiving the Silver Standard Award for her work on hate crime at the 9th British Diversity Awards ceremony.

Laura has presented and appeared on TV and radio shows as an expert on violence and homicide. Laura featured in Britain’s Darkest Taboos which aired on the Crime and Investigation Channel in February 2015. Laura co-hosted the six part show ‘Killer Profile’ which aired in the Bio and Crime and Investigation channel in September 2012 profiling six serial killers with two of the world leading FBI profilers. Laura also appeared on Channel 4s ‘How to Find Love On-Line’ talking about the potential risks of social media and on-line dating websites. Over the past few years has spoken as an expert on domestic abuse and stalking on TV and radio shows including BBC News, Sky News, Dr Drew, Crime Time, Radio 5 Live, BBC Look East, BBC Three Counties as well as appearing and contributing to newspaper articles.

She also In 2011 Laura appeared on ITV’s three part ‘Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son’, Channel 4’s Cutting Edge ‘The Raoul Moat Tapes: Inside the Mind of a Killer’ on August 18th , BBC Radio 4 on August 19th on ‘Facing the Facts- whether police services are doing enough when threats to kill are made in domestic and stalking cases’ and on Crimewatch with the Senior Investigating Officer David Swindle on July 5th 2010 giving insight about the serial killer Peter Tobin and has been assisting the Operation Anagram team.

Laura also presented the six part show ‘Killer in the Family’ on the Crime and Investigation network. Each episode involves profiling a different type of family killer to shed light on not only what happened, but also to identify the warning signs that pointed towards the killer's final dreadful act.

Other television work includes:
‘Street Crime Live’ - with Donal McIntyre on Channel 5. Laura appeared as an expert on violence. She was involved in profiling cold cases, launching appeals, speaking to police officers and families who have lost loved ones through violent assaults.

‘Jack the Ripper Revealed’ – which saw Laura re-open the case using modern criminology and psychological analysis, and working with a team of experts, to apply 21st century techniques to understand a 19th century killer, dispelling many myths that have grown up around the case. The results completely change our understanding of Jack the Ripper, providing a detailed psychological study of the kind of person he was, where he lived and even what he may have looked like.

‘Lady Killers’ – a six part show fronted by crime author Martina Cole analyzing some of the worst female killers in history including Myra Hindley and Rose West.

‘War on Knives’ – two live shows presented by Donal Macintryre, June Sarpong and Laura as the interactive presenter addressing the issue of knife crime.