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The Stalker in your Pocket: North Wales Police supporting National Stalking Awareness week

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Apr 18th, 2016.

North Wales Police are once again supporting National Stalking Awareness week which starts today, Monday 18th April.

This year’s theme ‘The Stalker in your Pocket’ led by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and highlights the increased use of Social Media by offenders.

Social media gives victims nowhere to hide. As we are more connected online than ever before, new research has found that Britons are increasingly at risk of stalking using online methods. There is now nowhere for victims of stalking to hide.

A new Britain-wide survey commissioned by Suzy Lamplugh Trust for National Stalking Awareness Week (18th – 22nd April 2016) has uncovered the massive scale of the problem in terms of both offline and online stalking.

Conducted online by YouGov, The Stalker in Your Pocket, is a new study in collaboration with consultant psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud and forensic psychiatrist Dr David James.

A representative sample of 4,054 British adults were surveyed by the research, which revealed that nearly a fifth of all British adult women (18%) and 8% of all British adult men had been stalked. These latest findings show that social media has become the tool of choice for many stalkers.

Key findings include:

36.8% of people that have been stalked had been stalked using online methods such as by Facebook or email

Of all online and offline stalking cases in Britain, only 26.6% had been reported to the police

Despite the laws in place against stalking, it continues to have a huge impact on victims’ lives and32% of victims felt fearful about their personal safety

In the UK 18.1% of women and 7.7% of men have been stalked

Director of Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Rachel Griffin, said:

“Victims of stalking are increasingly experiencing abuse through online methods. It is incredibly important that we are aware that victims of stalking can be harassed and abused both when they are going about their daily lives and when they are online. The obsession and fixation of stalkers means that they will use any means possible to pursue their victims,” said Rachel. Victims of stalking are encouraged to seek assistance and can contact the police. They can also contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.

DCI Simon Williams, North Wales Police Protecting Vulnerable People Unit said

“The impact of stalking and harassment on victims, families and communities can be devastating and whilst we have seen a significant increase in victims coming forward it is still under reported. We must continue to create an atmosphere that improves confidence and encourages more victims to engage with us or our multi-agency partners. We are determined to improve confidence and reporting by increasing the number of stalkers who face prosecution and ensure that measures are put in place to protect victims even if a conviction isn’t possible. North Wales Police are committed to tackling stalking and harassment and help keep our communities safe”.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick CB QC said:

“Stalking is an insidious crime that can cause untold anxiety and it can affect people in any walk of life, not just celebrities. Making sure that people feel safe and secure is a key objective of my police and crime plan so I am pleased to support National Stalking Awareness Week as a way of encouraging victims to come forward and draw attention to the help that is available to them. If they are unsure about contacting the police in the first instance, they can get in touch with the Victim Help Centre I established in St Asaph. It is vitally important that tackling this issue is a priority throughout the year and I know North Wales Police take their responsibilities seriously in this regard.”

Anyone who believes they may be experiencing Stalking or Harassment is encouraged to contact North Wales Police on 101 or in an emergency 999.

Further support and information is also available from The National Stalking and Harassment Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or via their website 

National Stalking Awareness Week is organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and this week marks the sixth anniversary of the National Stalking Helpline.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust have launched a short film called What is Stalking. To watch click here 

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