Rearranging garden furniture or sending unwanted gifts – these can be just some of the types of stalking behaviour revealed by a charity as police in Hampshire lend their support to a national awareness campaign.
National Stalking Awareness Week, which kick-started yesterday, Monday 24 April 2017, aims to raise awareness of the issue and the effect stalking can have on people.
This year’s campaign, by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, focuses on helping police and support workers recognise the signs of stalking at an early stage and focusing on the motives of the stalker, not just on specific incidents or behaviour.
The charity states this type of behaviour could be as simple as rearranging garden furniture, sending unwanted gifts, loitering on the pavement outside their house or even calling social services to maliciously report ‘poor’ parenting.
Stalking is repeated unwanted contact from one person to another, which demonstrates either a fixation or obsession and causes the victim to feel alarm, distress or fear of violence. It may involve personal contact but also via the phone, email, letter or social media.
Types of stalking behaviour:
Taken in isolation, events might seem unremarkable. But in particular circumstances and with repetition, they take on a more sinister meaning.
Unwanted communications may include telephone calls, letters, emails, faxes, text messages, messages on social networking sites, graffiti or sending or leaving unsolicited gifts.
Unwanted intrusions include following, waiting for, spying on, approaching and going to a person’s home. A stalker may also order or cancel goods or services, make complaints (to legitimate bodies), damage property or follow and try to talk to you online (cyberstalking).
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
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, number plate of any involved car
Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times
Victims can get more advice and support from:
The National Stalking Helpline
Telephone: 0808 802 0300
Practical advice and information to anyone who is currently, or previously has been, affected by harassment or stalking
The new National Stalking Advocacy Service was established in the spring of 2013. The service aims to provide strategic advocacy to high risk victims of stalking and establish a network of victims who have endured stalking, providing mutual support and empowerment.
Protection Against Stalking
Protection against Stalking (formerly The CRT Trust) works jointly with relevant agencies to increase awareness of Stalking and Harassment to ensure victims receive all the protection and help they need to rebuild their lives and live free of fear.
Network for Surviving Stalking
The charity Network for Surviving Stalking represents UK stalking victims and their families. Established by stalking victim Tracey Morgan 9 years ago, NSS listens to the views of victims and professionals and uses their knowledge and experience to help others. NSS helps run the National Stalking Helpline.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust
Telephone: 020 7091 0014
This organisation aims to create a safer society and enable everyone to live safer lives. It works for the reduction, and fear of, crime against the person through campaigning for policy and legislative change, research, training, and advice.
Telephone: 0845 30 30 900
Helpline for anyone affected by crime
Telephone: 0808 2000 247 – Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence
Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge.