Stalking is so much more than behaviour which is fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated.

It takes a team effort to build a stalking case!

Only 6.6% of reports of stalking to the police in the year ending March 2022 resulted in a charge by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Only 1.4% of cases in that same year ended in the stalker being convicted. 

About Stalking

Taking a critical perspective on stalking statistics is essential, particularly regarding the demographics of victims represented in official data. While statistics from organisations like the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and crime databases provide valuable information, it’s crucial to recognise that these figures predominantly involve recognised victims, excluding many from marginalised or minority groups.

Stalking affects individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their background. However, certain groups are underrepresented in official statistics due to various factors, including reporting barriers, age bias, societal stigma, and systemic biases within the criminal justice system. For instance, while the ONS statistics may indicate that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 12 men experience stalking, it’s essential to critically examine the factors influencing these numbers.

Marginalised communities, including LGBTQ+ individuals, often fear they won’t be taken seriously due to their identities. People under 16, ethnic minorities, and those with disabilities also face significant barriers when accessing support services for stalking incidents. In schools, this issue is frequently treated as a private matter. Initial contacts, such as families or carers, might minimise or dismiss concerns. Additionally, there may be a lack of access to specialist disability technology services, language barriers with support workers, and cultural beliefs that further complicate the situation. As a result, their experiences are underrepresented in official data.

The National Stalking Consortium is highly concerned that the lack of understanding of stalking extends to the judiciary. Magistrates’ courts which are responsible for issuing Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) that offer victims additional protection, often dismiss the need for them on the grounds that other orders (such as restraining orders) are already in place. This is despite SPOs being the most efficient way to protect a victim from stalking behaviours. 

In the United Kingdom, the management of policing is varied, with different regions having their own police forces. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own devolved police forces, namely Police Scotland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

In England and Wales, the policing landscape is more complex and costly. England is divided into 39 separate police forces, each responsible for policing within its own area.

These forces are overseen by police and crime commissioners (PCCs), who are members of the public responsible for setting priorities and budgets for their respective police forces. In Greater London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire the mayor holds the responsibilities of a PCC. PCCs work closely with chief constables, who are the highest-ranking officers within each police force and are responsible for operational policing decisions and address trend spikes like violence against women and girls or knife crime.

Similarly, in Wales, there are four police forces: Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police, North Wales Police, and South Wales Police. These forces operate within the framework of Welsh law and work closely with the Welsh Government on matters of policing policy and strategy. 

Despite the decentralised nature of policing in England and Wales, there are efforts to promote collaboration and coordination among police forces to tackle issues like stalking effectively. The diversity of police systems and governance structures can present challenges in achieving consistency and standardisation in the response to stalking cases, especially when they are complex. Victims may not be correctly processed due to lack of resources, sharing of information through several systems, leading to inconsistencies in cases  handling and potentially leaving victims feeling unsupported and discouraged from seeking further help. This has to change.

Stalking Behaviours

Every stalking situation is unique and can be complex and need time and resources to research and investigate thoroughly. Stalkers may have different motivations and the victim cannot end a relationship as the relationship is not theirs it belongs to the stalker.

However, their tactics often share commonalities like that of violent attacks that happen in the home – this is not a case of domestic violence, it is a case of stalking with violent assaults and or emotional abuse; other stalking behaviours may include issues of:

  • Following: Persistently trailing someone, often to monitor their activities or intimidate them.
  • Contacting: Repeatedly reaching out to the victim via any means, including calls, texts, emails, or social media messages.
  • Publishing: Sharing personal information or material about the victim without their consent, potentially endangering their privacy and safety.
  • Monitoring: Intrusively tracking someone’s communications, such as phone calls, internet usage, or emails, without their knowledge or consent.
  • Loitering: Lingering in public or private spaces frequented by the victim, causing unease and fear.
  • Interfering: Damaging or tampering with the victim’s property, infringing upon their sense of security and autonomy.
  • Leaving: Leaving unwanted gifts, messages, or notes for the victim, which can be perceived as invasive and unsettling.
  • Watching: Observing or spying on the victim’s movements, activities, or interactions, often without their awareness.

Understanding these behaviours is crucial for recognising and addressing instances of stalking, enabling victims to take appropriate action and seek necessary support.

“One of the elements of the law is that there has to be a continuing course of conduct. And a definition of a continuing course of conduct is; two or more acts that demonstrate a purpose – its meant to put fear in the victim to the point to where the victim is going to comply with the perpetrator.” ~ Police Sergeant James Gabbard, Special Victims Section 

What is stalking?

This powerful short film summarises the intense, insidious and threatening nature of stalking by showing keys words on the screen while real stalking survivors give voice to their experiences in the background. 

If you are being stalked, contact the police and ask for assistance, in an emergency call 999.

The Impact of Stalking on Victims

Survivors of stalking and the surviving sister of Peggy Klinke describe how stalking changed and impacted every area of their lives, and the challenges of healing from the psychological aftermath of stalking. produced this 5-minute training and awareness video

to the victims, survivors and victim-survivors…

Take action and protect yourself and your family. With each and every incident, no matter how small or stupid – you know what it is – you have to educate others the meaning of what it is and what it truly means.

Report and document everything.

This is a proactive approach ensuring you have a thorough record of events and incidents empowering you to safeguard your well-being and your families – it helps to pursue appropriate legal recourse when you are ready, but if things are escalating get help. Recording will illustrate a pattern of unwanted behaviour now called FOUR.

You are the first person who has contact with the evidence and this is needed for the police to build a case. You have to collate and preserve that evidence for them without being at risk; if you are in danger call 999.

Document every incident regardless how silly or doubtful it may feel!

If someone keys your car, report it and document it.

A pet goes missing, report it and document it.

If someone is calling you, texting or emailing you, report it and document it.

If someone is sending you unwanted gifts, report it and document it.

Threatened by a third party? report it, and document it.

If your tyres are slashed, report it and document it.

If your car window is broken or pushed down/open, report it and document it.

If things are sent to your home, work, or social area, report it and document it. 

If people you are close too are threatened, report it and document it.

Report and record everything, even if it’s the weird stuff that’s happening around you! 

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