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Dorset Police supports National Stalking Awareness Week

With National Stalking Awareness Week taking place between Monday 20 to Saturday 25 April 2015, Dorset Police is encouraging members of the public who believe they are victims of stalking offences to come forward and report them.

This year’s campaign focuses on stalking of children and young people and calls on them to ‘Stand Together and Say No’.

Stalking is repeated, unwanted contact from one person to another which causes the victim to feel distressed or fearful and is a specific criminal offence. It can be closely linked to domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Detective Inspector, Joe Williams of Bournemouth CID said: “Stalking is not something that simply affects adults.

“We want parents and teachers to encourage young people to open up to someone they know and trust if they are worried about their safety, or that of someone they know.

“It is worth remembering that stalking can take place in both the physical and online world.

“Dorset Police have officers trained to support victims of all ages and investigate these types of offences.” 

In the UK, one in five women and one in ten men are stalked at some point in their lives – 42 per cent of people are stalked by a previous partner and 90 per cent by someone that they know.

Joe Williams continued: “Stalking is an appalling crime and the impact on victims can be devastating.  

“Perpetrators of these crimes should know that we actively target these offences and a prison sentence can apply if convicted. 

“I would encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of stalking offences to have the confidence to come forward and contact Dorset Police on 101.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “Stalking is totally invasive and unacceptable. It ruins lives.

“You do not have to suffer in silence so please come forward and let the police and other agencies help you.”

Issued: 20 April 2015