Commissioner Supports National Stalking Awareness week
Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall is raising awareness of stalking, harassment behaviours, encouraging people to report and also providing information on how to access local specialist support services in Cumbria, during National Stalking Awareness week 25th – 29th April.
Stalking can take many different forms and any behaviour that is fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repetitive counts as stalking and is potentially very dangerous. Examples of stalking can include repeatedly contacting/attempting to contact the victim, monitoring the victim online, destruction of property, publishing false or defamatory statements or material about the victim and/or tracking their movements.
Between 01.04.2021 and 01.04.2022 there were 827 reported crimes of stalking made to Cumbria Police. Of those 827 crimes reported 84% were domestic related.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall comments: “Becoming a victim of stalking can happen to anyone, at any time. It is important to raise awareness of what constitutes as stalking or harassing behaviours, the importance of early reporting and encourage more people to have the confidence to report.
“People need to know that these types are crimes are taken seriously, they should not be ignored or passed off as unimportant as the can escalate to something far more serious. It’s essential that victims report stalking at an early stage, reporting all behaviour that causes concern, no matter how minor it may seem in isolation.
“I would urge anyone to not suffer in silence and instead come forward and report, the police take all reports seriously. If you have any concerns around your safety or the safety of someone else, please get in touch. We are here to listen and to support you – you are not alone.”
Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop, Cumbria Police lead for stalking said: “Awareness weeks such as National Stalking Awareness Week, provide a great platform for us to further promote the reporting of crimes and the accessing of vital support services.
“Firstly, becoming a victim of stalking can happen to anyone, at any time. It is never the victim’s fault. If a person’s behaviour towards you or someone else is fixated, unwanted, obsessive and repeated it is stalking.
“Stalking can have a devastating effect on a victim and their loved ones. The nature of this type of crime is particularly distressing because the perpetrator is directly targeting a person. Everyone has the right to live their life without fear and harassment.
“I urge anyone with concerns for stalking, to contact police immediately. If you are a victim of stalking or have concerns regarding someone who may be a victim of stalking, please get in touch, we are here to help.
“Reports are taken seriously and duly investigated. We will continue to work hard to hold those responsible to account for their actions.”
Anyone who would like to report an incident of stalking, or concerns, should call Cumbria police on 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency. You can report non-emergencies online at https://t.co/fzOXuYj7cc
Suzy Lamplugh Trust – National Stalking support helpline 0808 802 0300
If you are experiencing stalking please click here to contact the National Stalking Helpline or to find out more
To report a crime anonymously, contact independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
Please note, that the stats above can include historic reports of stalking, multiple crimes resulting from one incident and multiple crimes against one victim.
As part of National Stalking Awareness week (24-29 April), please see the following events organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – national charity for stalking.
Monday 25th of April
Launch of Suzy Lamplugh Trust report, Bridging The Gap: A Stalking Advocate For Every Victim.
Tuesday 26th of April
Release of ‘The Need for Stalking Advocates: Fathers in Discussion’ podcast – Featuring Clive Ruggles, father of Alice Ruggles who was murdered by an ex-partner stalker 2016; and Richard Spinks, father of Gracie Spinks, murdered by an ex-colleague stalked in 2021. Both explain how their daughters’ cases might have ended differently had there been a stalking advocate involved.
Wednesday 27th of April
Join the National Stalking Awareness Week Conference, held online. Speakers this year, including MP Jess Phillips, DCC Maggie Blyth, and Dame Vera Baird QC, to name a few. Tickets are still available here.