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Stalking and harassment

Stalking and harassment is against the law. It can have life changing consequences for victims and anyone who has been a victim will know how frightening it can be.

We’re committed to tackling these issues by bringing offenders of stalking and harassment to justice and supporting victims.

The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 defines harassment as; “any behaviour which causes the victim alarm or distress, or puts them in fear of violence more than twice. Similarly, stalking relates to persistent and unwanted attention towards a victim”.

Signs of stalking

You may only realise you’re a victim of stalking once there has been a pattern of strange behaviour or suspicious incidents, such as;

  • frequent phone calls and text messages
  • messages on social media
  • notes left on your car
  • gifts left at your home
  • being followed
  • being continually stared at
  • someone visiting your home or workplace
  • threats or violence
  • damage to property.

Protecting yourself from stalking or harassment

There are some simple measures you can take to help protect yourself if you believe you’re being stalked or harassed;

  • take a mobile with you when you’re out so you can call us on 101, or 999 in an emergency
  • carry a personal attack alarm
  • always let someone know what your plans are
  • keep a record of your stalkers actions as this can be a helpful source of evidence for officers investigating your case and ensure you to keep a clear timeline of their behaviour
  • try to screen shot any unwanted or alarming social media messages before they’re removed
  • record as much as you can about the appearance of the stalker
  • keep all evidence such as letters, parcels and text messages and record any telephone calls
  • tell your loved ones about what is happening so that they can support you
  • do not approach or engage with your stalker in any way. 

Report stalking or harassment

If you think you are being stalked or harassed, we recommend you report it to us. If you or someone else is in immediate danger from stalking or harassment, always call 999.

You may also choose to speak to an officer at your local police station

Alternatively, you may prefer to contact the National Stalking Helplineon 0808 802 0300. They provide help and advice to anyone who is or has been a victim of stalking or harassment, including personal safety advice.

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