Force to give its backing to National Stalking Awareness Week 2022
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Warwickshire Police will be supporting this year’s National Stalking Awareness Week campaign.
The campaign, which is headed up by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, is running from today (Monday) until Friday (29 April) and aims to raise awareness of stalking.
The trust was set up by Suzy Lamplugh’s parents Paul and Diana back in 1986 after the 25-year-old disappeared while she was working as an estate agent and showing a client round a house in Fulham.
Suzy’s body has never been found, but she has been presumed murdered and was legally declared dead in 1993. Click here to read more about Suzy’s story.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust looks to offer personal safety training and advice to others, to help people be and feel safe and to make people aware of the dangers of stalking.
So what is stalking?
Often with stalking, the stalker will have an obsession with the person they're targeting. It can be someone known to the victim - an ex-partner or a person they were friends with, or it might be a stranger.
Stalking may include:
regularly following someone
repeatedly going uninvited to their home
checking someone’s internet use, email or other electronic communication
hanging around somewhere they know the person often visits
interfering with their property
watching or spying on someone
identity theft (signing-up to services, buying things in someone's name)
If the behaviour is: fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated, it is more than likely to be stalking,
The force is aware of how the climate has changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with a rise in more cyber elements of stalking.
Social networking sites, chat rooms, gaming sites and other forums are often now used to stalk or harass someone.
But the key is taking action early if you suspect you may be a victim of stalking – whether it be online or in person.
Detective Chief Inspector Zaid Khan said: “Stalking is a crime that is distressing and malicious and is something no-one should have to put up with.
“The force is committed to continually improving our understanding of stalking and our response to it.
“Although stalking during the pandemic has changed, with greater reliance on cyber-related elements, it has not gone away and the impact on victims of stalking can make them feel increasingly isolated.
"I would always urge anyone who believes they may be subject of stalking to come forward as early as possible and report their concerns to us so we can work with them to protect them.
"We want victims to be confident and know we will take all reports and forms of stalking seriously. These offences have a significant life-changing impact on victims and without appropriate early intervention the risk of harm can escalate very rapidly.
"We are fully committed not only to doing all that we can to bring offenders to justice but also to safeguarding victims.
“During the National Stalking Awareness week, we will be educating people on the offence of stalking, how to report concerns and which organisations can provide guidance, advice and support.
"It is important victims know they can come forward to the police, and that the offenders of this terrible crime are dealt with. Stalking needs to be unmasked."
Anyone who suspects they are being stalked can report it online or contact police on 101. If they are in immediate danger call 999.
There is also support and advice from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust on the National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300, and through the Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service on 020 3866 4107.
StreetSafe is a pilot designed for the public to anonymously tell the force about public places where they've felt unsafe. Click here to report your concerns or find out more about StreetSafe.
Click here to learn more about the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
Click here to find out more about how you can get help if you think you may be a victim of stalking.