Stalking on rise as police report almost 2,000 cases in three months

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has recorded a 25 per cent rise in stalking and harassment offences within the last year.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has recorded a 25 per cent rise in stalking and harassment offences within the last year. - Credit: SalTheColourGeek/CC

More than 1,800 crimes relating to stalking and harassment – ranging from constant messages to unwanted gifts – have been reported to Cambridgeshire police in the last three months. 

From January to March 1,826 crimes relating to stalking and harassment offences were raised with police. 

It is a 25 per cent increase in crimes compared to the same period in 2020. 

Behaviour can range from constantly sending messages, turning up uninvited, sending unwanted gifts or following someone around – anything that makes someone feel pestered or harassed. 

Police are highlighting the support available to victims and providing information on 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. 

Detective Superintendent John Massey said: “Stalking can be a terrifying experience and leave victims feeling isolated and frightened. 

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“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.” 

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. 

DS Massey continued: “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. 

“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. 

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