Stalking and harassment | Suffolk Constabulary

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Stalking and harassment

Advice for victims

If you are experiencing stalking, please do not suffer in silence. Name it. REPORT it.

Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service 6 golden rules:

R eport it as early as possible to the police and tell others what is happening

E nsure you get good practical advice

P roactive evidence collection – keep all the evidence

O verview of what is happening – keep a diary

R isk Checklist – the [S-DASH 11] screening questions

T rust your instinct

Harassment

Harassment can be any repeated behaviour that is unwanted and makes you feel threatened, scared or upset. Behaviours include:

  • frequently contacting or attempting to contact you
  • driving past your home or work
  • following or watching you
  • sending you unwanted letters or gifts
  • damaging your property.

Stalking

Stalking is a particular kind of harassment and generally describes a long term pattern of persistent and repeated behaviour.

Examples of stalking behaviour may include:

  • unwanted phone calls, letters, e-mails, text messages, or any form of communication
  • loitering near the victim or where they live or work
  • spying on the victim
  • following the victim
  • accosting the victim in private or public
  • entering the victim’s home or workplace
  • sending or leaving materials or gifts
  • ordering or cancelling goods and services
  • threats
  • property damage
  • violence.

How many people experience stalking?

Recent research released by Suzy Lamplugh Trust found that 1 in 5 British women and 1 in 12 British men have experienced stalking in their lifetime. The Crime Survey for England and Wales has found that 4.9% of women and 2.4% of men reported experiencing stalking15 in the last year. This equates to 734,000 women and 388,000 men each year. These figures make stalking as pervasive as domestic abuse.

Who stalks?

Stalkers are most likely to target someone known to them. The largest group of stalkers is ex-partners, accounting for 45% of all cases. The smallest group is strangers, with only 10% of people being stalked by someone they have no prior relationship with. Other groups of stalkers include acquaintances of the victim (22%), colleagues/ex-colleagues of the victim (5%) and members of the victim’s family (4%).

 

 

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Victim help and support

Victim help and support:

Advice for victims

  • Keep a record of what happened, where and when you were followed or telephoned, or when you received post or email messages.
  • Keep phone messages, texts, relevant letters, objects used in communications and any social media communications.
  • Keep the details of people who may have seen these events.
  • Write down information as soon as possible when events are still fresh in your mind.
  • Tell the police if any neighbours or others saw or heard what happened.
  • Record how the suspect looked or sounded - what they were wearing and the make and number plate of any involved car.
  • Adjust privacy settings on websites and smart phones, keep personal data safe, change passwords regularly and install appropriate anti-virus/spyware software.
  • Avoid contacting or confronting the offender and do not attempt to deal with the situation yourself.
  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Be confident to come forward and make a report to the police – cases of stalking will be taken seriously