Police are supporting the Suzy Lamplugh Trust’s National Stalking Awareness Week from 16-20 April 2018.
This year the Suzy Lamplugh Trust are focusing on increasing reporting levels, encouraging victims to talk about their experiences and access support from police and other statutory and voluntary organisations.
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills said: “If a person’s behaviour towards you is persistent and clearly unwanted, causing you fear, harassment or anxiety, then it is stalking and you should not have to live with it.
“We take all reports of stalking and harassment extremely seriously and recognise the catastrophic effects this can have on a victim. If you are being stalked or harassed, I urge you to report this to us – you will be believed and protected.
“If you feel you are being stalked, then please call us on 101. However, if someone’s behaviour is putting you at immediate risk then please call 999”.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, is attending a conference on stalking organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust in London today (Monday 16 April 2018).
He said: “I am looking forward to hearing of the experience from other parts of the country and particularly of the initiatives that are being taken to tackle this disturbing crime.
“Stalking and harassment can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and, together with Wiltshire Police, I’m committed to ensuring that victims have the confidence to report crime to the police and are well supported when they do”.
“Placing victims and witnesses at the heart of everything we do is one of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan, and ensuring that victims of crime receive support from their very first call and throughout the criminal justice process is absolutely paramount.
Mr Macpherson received £824,368 last year from the Ministry of Justice to support victims of crime in Wiltshire. Of this £125,000 has been used to commission Wiltshire Police’s in-house victim support service, Horizon, along with £235,000 for victim support and £185,000 for domestic abuse support amongst other victim services in the county.
Steps to take to help deal with this type of behaviour
Keep a record with times, venue and description of what happened and was involved; write down information as soon as possible when events are still fresh in your mind
Record how the suspect looked and sounded - What they were wearing and the make and number plate of any vehicle involved
Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times
Think about your phone settings - Use a PIN with random numbers; turn off geo-location services in camera apps and your mobile settings; don't use apps that tell you where friends are, check you in etc
Use a safe computer - use a different computer, belonging to a friend or library, until you can install anti-spyware software on your computer; delete all online accounts; obtain several new e-mail addresses and don't use your name or nickname as a stalker could identify you; create new passwords and password protect your computer
Social networks are not secure - Your friends can easily share information that can help an abuser track you down. Make sure you use strict privacy settings or, if possible, delete your Facebook account.
Important - if you feel that someone's behaviour is putting you at immediate risk then call 999 If you feel that you are being stalked, we would prefer to speak to you on the phone by calling us on 101, or in person.
Horizon Victim and Witness Care - Contact us here
Swindon Women’s Aid – 01793 610610
National Stalking Helpline – 0808 802 0300