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National Stalking Awareness Week supported by officers

We are supporting National Stalking Awareness Week, where police forces from across the country and charities come together to raise awareness of stalking through a targeted campaign.

The awareness week, which runs from today (Monday 24 April), coincides with the re-launch of the force’s ‘Let’s Talk Stalking’ campaign, which aims to increase public knowledge and understanding of stalking.

Victims don’t always realise or recognise that the offender’s behaviour towards them amounts to stalking. Because of this, many offences go unreported as victims don’t understand what stalking is or realise how serious it can become.

Through our #LetsTalkStalking campaign we’re asking everyone in the local community to come together to reinforce that stalking behaviours are completely unacceptable, and empower victims to seek support immediately.

The campaign focuses on educating the public on four key behaviours:

  1. Fixated – being followed on your daily routine, spied on, or being watched by someone loitering around your work or home

  2. Obsessed – being monitored on or offline, cyberstalking, the ordering and cancelling of items on your behalf

  3. Unwanted – gifts being sent or left for you; unwanted messages, letters or phone calls; even damage or graffiti being caused to your property

  4. Repeated – this can be any nuisance or threatening behaviour, being approached, accosted repeatedly.

Detective Inspector Victoria Ison, of the Safeguarding team at Staffordshire Police, said:

“National Stalking Awareness Week gives us an opportunity to highlight the work we have been doing so far as we continue to refocus efforts, improve services and work with partners to ensure there is a robust approach to both prevention of violence and the protection of those who don’t feel safe.

“We really want people to recognise the four behaviours that are warning signs that someone is stalking you.

“This behaviour is not normal and it shouldn’t be ignored or accepted.”

Throughout the week, local police officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will be handing out advice leaflets and encouraging conversations about the Let’s Talk Stalking campaign and promoting the Hollie Guard App – a free app which can instantly turn your phone into a personal safety device. Officers will be visiting key locations such as beauty salons, hairdressers, pharmacies, doctors’ surgeries and other public venues, in order to share the message with as many people as possible.

Detective Inspector Ison added: “If you’re experiencing stalking, please contact us sooner, rather than later, to allow us to work with you and agree a course of action to help protect you and halt the behaviour.

“This can include using Stalking Protection Orders against offenders following arrest.

“These protect you while we investigate the crime and gather evidence, enabling the offender to be charged and prosecuted.

“We understand the devastating impact stalking can have and our specially trained officers are on hand to support and safeguard victims and work closely with external agencies who provide emotional support and all sorts of practical help to victims of stalking in Staffordshire.

“I would urge anyone with concerns about stalking to contact the police. You can private message us through our Live Chat function on our website or call 101. You should always call 999 in an emergency.”

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams, said: “Stalking can take many forms and cause significant harm in a person’s life, leaving them feeling scared, anxious or isolated.

“This important campaign raises awareness of the signs of stalking, so that victims are able to not only report it to the Police, but can also access the specialist support they need, when they need it.”

For more information and advice, please visit: Let's Talk Stalking | Staffordshire Police


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