Cambridgeshire police record rise in stalking and harassment reports
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More than 1,800 crimes relating to stalking and harassment offences have been reported to Cambridgeshire Constabulary in the past three months.
The exact number of reports, 1,826, recorded all over the county from January to March, is a 25 per cent increase compared to last year.
Detective Superintendent John Massey said: “Stalking can be a terrifying experience and leave victims feeling isolated and frightened.
“This week is an opportunity for us to highlight our commitment to supporting victims and taking action against offenders.
“Stalking isn’t a one-off crime and often includes a series of incidents which, when taken in isolation may seem trivial, but when put together can be really scary.
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“Sadly, throughout the Covid pandemic, stalking has continued and many offenders have moved their harassment online, which triggers different but equally serious fears among victims.
“So, our main message this week is to encourage anyone with concerns to get in touch.
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“We’re here for victims 24/7 and I’d like to reassure them their voice will be heard and we will support you.”
This week, as part of National Stalking Awareness Week, the force will be highlighting the support available to victims and how to spot the signs of stalking behaviour.
A particular focus will be around the different methods offenders use to frighten victims and the mnemonic FOUR signs of stalking – fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated.
Another emphasis of the campaign, led by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust charity, will be on changes since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and a notable rise in cyber offending.
A police spokesperson said: “Most people think they know the crime of stalking but identifying it is not always as easy as it might seem.
“It can include a range of behaviour, such as constantly sending messages, turning up uninvited, sending unwanted gifts or following someone around – in fact anything that makes someone feel pestered or harassed.”
For information and advice about stalking visit www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Stalking-and-harassment or call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.
To report stalking visit www.cambs.police.uk/report or call police on 101, or in the case of an emergency always dial 999.