Stalking & Harassment

What is harassment?

Harassment is behaviour intentionally carried out with the aim of causing a person to feel alarmed, threatened, humiliated or distressed.

Harassment is a criminal offence. It could be from someone you know, like a neighbour or people from your local area, or it could be a complete stranger.

What is stalking?

Stalking is unwanted and obsessive attention by an individual or group towards another person that places that person in fear.

Stalking is a criminal offence. It is different from harassment as it involves fixated and obsessive behaviour.

It includes repeated attempts to impose unwanted communications and/or contacts on another in a manner that could be expected to cause distress and/or fear in any reasonable person.

The popular image of a stalker is that they are strangers. In reality, victims of stalking often know their stalker. It could be an ex-partner, a friend, colleague or an acquaintance.

Tell me more

  • Unwanted contact (in person, by phone or online)
  • Unwanted phone calls, presents, letters, emails
  • Following and watching someone
  • Abuse and bullying online
  • Verbal abuse and threats
  • Damaging property belonging to the victim or their family
  • Using threats or threatening behaviour to frighten the victim

If you think you think you’re being harassed because of your disability, race, religion transgender identity or sexual orientation you should also report the harassment as a hate crime.

Dorset Police treats all reports of stalking and harassment seriously. 

If you believe that you or another are in immediate danger, or it’s an emergency, call 999. 

Otherwise in a non-emergency report online here or if you wish to speak with someone call 101. 

National Services:

National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300.

The National Stalking Helpline provides guidance and information to anybody who is currently or has previously been affected by harassment or stalking. 

The website has useful guidance on:

Paladin

Paladin in the national stalking advocacy service and assists high risk victims of stalking throughout England and Wales. A number of Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers (ISACs) ensure high risk victims of stalking are supported and that a coordinated community response is developed locally to keep victims and their children safe.

  • Keep a diary of what is happening when, where, by whom and how it makes you feel
  • Save all gifts, texts, emails, letters, and communications

Further information on how to collect evidence can be found on the National Stalking Helpline website.

Make sure you stay safe. Useful information on personal safety is available here.

Dorset Police treats all reports of stalking and harassment seriously. Please report online here or if you wish to speak with someone call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency. 

Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you think you think you’re being harassed because of your disability, race, religion transgender identity or sexual orientation you should also report the harassment as a hate crime.

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