What is stalking?

Stalking involves a person becomes fixated or obsessed with another.

Stalking is a pattern of persistent and unwanted attention that makes you feel pestered, scared, anxious or harassed. Some examples of stalking are:

  • Regularly giving unwanted gifts
  • Making unwanted communication
  • Damaging property
  • Repeatedly following you or spying on you
  • Threats

Taken in isolation, some of the behaviours may seem like small acts, but together they make up a consistent pattern of behaviour that is frightening and upsetting. It’s important to know that stalking is a criminal offence and because of this, if you go to the police they will take it seriously.  

Statistics on stalking

  • A study on the relationship between stalking and homicide involving a female victim and male perpetrator, found that in 71% of cases the victim and perpetrator were in, or had previously had, an intimate relationship [1]
  • Data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales shows up to 700, 000 women are stalked each year [2]
  • Victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th Incident [3]
  • Statistics show that the majority of victims (80.4%) are female while the majority of perpetrators (70.5%) are male [4]
  • The Metropolitan Police Service found that 40% of the victims of domestic homicides had also been stalked [5]

Useful help and advice

Paladin, the National Stalking Advisory Service has the following advice:

  • Trust yourself and your instincts
  • Report it as early as possible to the police and tell others what is happening
  • Get advice from Paladin or the Suzy Lamplugh Trust
  • Keep evidence of what’s happening, try writing a diary

If you need help:

[1] Monckton Smith, J., Szymanska, K., and Haile, S. Exploring the Relationship between Stalking and Homicide (Published online: University of Gloucestershire, in association with Suzy Lamplugh Trust, 2017)

[2] Crime Survey of England and Wales, 2009-2012

[3] Sheridan, 2005

[4] National Stalking Helpline, 2011

[5] ACPO Homicide Working Group, 2003

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