Cambridgeshire police highlighting stalking offences - and the support available to victims
Cambridgeshire police are shining a spotlight on stalking offences - and the support that is available to victims - durting Stalking Awareness Week.
Stalking can include a range of behaviour, such as constantly sending messages, turning up uninvited, sending unwanted gifts or following someone around – in fact anything that makes someone feel pestered or harassed.
This week, as part of National Stalking Awareness Week (19-23 April), the force will be highlighting the support available to victims and how to spot the signs of stalking behaviour.
A particular focus will be around the different methods offenders use to frighten victims and the mnemonic FOUR signs of stalking – fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated.
Another emphasis of the campaign, led by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust charity, will be on changes since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and a notable rise in cyber offending.
In the past three months (January to March), 1,826 crimes relating to stalking and harassment offences have been raised in Cambridgeshire, a 25% rise compared to last year.
Detective Superintendent John Massey said: “Stalking can be a terrifying experience and leave victims feeling isolated and frightened.
“This week is an opportunity for us to highlight our commitment to supporting victims and taking action against offenders.
“Stalking isn’t a one-off crime and often includes a series of incidents which, when taken in isolation may seem trivial, but when put together can be really scary.
“Sadly, throughout the Covid pandemic, stalking has continued and many offenders have moved their harassment online, which triggers different but equally serious fears among victims.
“So our main message this week is to encourage anyone with concerns to get in touch. We’re here for victims 24/7 and I’d like to reassure them their voice will be heard and we will support you.”
For information and advice about stalking visit https://www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Stalking-and-harassment or call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.
To report stalking visit www.cambs.police.uk/report or call police on 101, or in the case of an emergency always dial 999.