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Dorset Police supports Stalking Awareness Day

With National Stalking Awareness Day taking place on Thursday 18 April 2013, Dorset Police is encouraging members of the public who believe they are victims of stalking offences to come forward and report them.

In November 2012, legislation for stalking offences changed when the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 was amended.

As a result of this amendment, two specific criminal offences of stalking came into force in England and Wales for the first time.

The Crown Prosecution Service and Dorset Police secured their first conviction for a Section 2A stalking offence, under the new stalking and harassment legislation, on Monday 15 April 2013. This was one of the first charge and convictions of its kind in the country.

The offender, a 28-year-old man from Bournemouth, received a three month prison sentence at Bournemouth magistrates’ court.

In this case, the offender stalked a woman who he had previously been in a relationship with. He displayed extreme jealous tendencies and his actions left the victim very distressed.

Detective Constable Rob Fletcher, from Bournemouth CID, is the Force expert for stalking and harassment. 

He said: “This case shows that if people report stalking offences to Dorset Police, we will investigate them fully and offenders could end up behind bars.

“Stalking is an appalling crime and the impact on victims can be devastating.

“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.

“We have officers trained to support victims and investigate these types of offences.

“Alternatively, members of the public can ring the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or email advice@stalkinghelpline.org.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “Stalking is unacceptable and it is a criminal offence.

“It causes people distress and I would urge victims not to suffer in silence. Please come forward and report offences to Dorset Police.”

Issued: 17 April 2013

National Stalking Awareness Day