20th April marks National Stalking Awareness Week and this year the theme is 2020; See Stalking Clearly.
Despite the ongoing health pandemic, victims of stalking must remain visible and it is crucial that anyone affected by this serious crime is reassured that support through the National Stalking Helpline and other advocacy services has not changed during this period of uncertainty.
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Stalking and Harassment Offences, said: “Stalking is a serious and prevalent crime and while I fully appreciate that the current coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the moment, it is really important to note that the risks from stalking are unlikely to reduce during the lockdown period and in many cases may become more pronounced.
“We are fully committed to doing all that we can to bring offenders to justice and safeguard victims and during this week, we will be raising awareness of stalking, behaviour traits to look out for, how to report concerns and which organisations can provide support.
“I would always urge anyone who believes they may be subject of stalking to come forward at the earliest opportunity and report their concerns to police so we can work with them to protect them.”
The National Stalking Helpline responds to over 3,500 requests for help every year, and approximately 75 per cent of calls to the helpline are from people who have been stalked by some kind of technologically-assisted means. However, in most of cases, perpetrators are using a variety of different means to stalk their victims, both offline and online.
For more information visit The Suzy Lamplugh Trust website at https://www.suzylamplugh.org/.
To report concerns call 101 or 999 in an emergency. The National Stalking Helpline is available on 0808 802 0300.