Today Lincolnshire Police join the nation in raising awareness of stalking, and highlighting how people can get the help and support they need.
Detective Superintendent Martyn Parker, Head of the Protecting Vulnerable Persons Unit, said: “Stalking is defined by fixation and obsession. A victim is likely to feel vulnerable and isolated, feelings which will, no doubt, have been compounded by the restrictions faced over the last year.
“It is vital that stalking is a priority. It is vital that victims seek help. If you are in immediate danger, call 999. If it’s not an emergency, call 101. If you need someone to talk to, you can call the Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.”
The National Stalking Prevention Week begins today (19 April) and runs until 23 April. During the week police will be taking to social media to share information on the characteristics of stalking, and how we, and other organisations, can help.
They will also raise awareness of Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs). These were introduced to protect victims under the Stalking and Protection Act 2019, with the orders made possible from January 2020. We are able to immediately arrest anyone breaching an SPO and this could result in up to five years imprisonment.
Detective Superintendent Martyn Parker explained, “SPOs are a vital safeguarding tool for Police. SPOs offer an effective means of managing a suspect through use of prohibitions and requirements.
“SPOs allow an opportunity for early intervention in a stalking case, before the criminal threshold is met, and can also be used at any point during the course of an investigation up to the point of conviction.
“Officers will consider applying for an SPO at the start of each stalking investigation, be it a case against a former partner, family member or stranger.
“A person who breaches an SPO without reasonable excuse commits a criminal offence and we are committed to taking proactive and urgent action where this is the case.”
Stalking facts and figures
- There are FOUR signs of stalking. The behaviour of a stalker is Fixated, Obsessive, Unwanted, Repeated.
- There are currently eight SPOs live in Lincolnshire.
- 1523 crimes of stalking recorded between 01/04/2020 and 31/03/2021.
- 36% of these offences related to a domestic stalking situation.
- One in five women and one in ten men have experienced stalking at some point since the age of 16.*
Help and support
If you have concerns for yourself or someone you know please call police on 101, or 999 if it’s an emergency.
For more details, please follow the link to advice about stalking and harassment
You can also seek support and information by calling the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300. More information is available here from the Suzie Lamplugh Trust
*Source: Office for National Statistics – Crime Survey for England and Wales 2018/2019