Victims of stalking are being urged to come forward in a police crackdown on the crime ahead of a national initiative this week.
National Stalking Awareness Day takes place tomorrow and is designed to increase public understanding of the offence and to help potential victims to spot the signs, given that most victims suffer 100 incidents before they approach police.
Throughout this week Herts Police have been spreading key messages and facts about stalking, which is defined as repeated, unwanted intrusion into a victim’s life which cause them to feel scared or distressed.
Though 80 per cent of all stalkers are male, the culprits, officers are keen to stress, come from all backgrounds and do not form one ‘type’.
And while the majority of stalkers are known to their victims either as ex-partners or acquaintances, some people are stalked by complete strangers.
Acting Det Supt Geoff Camp from the Herts Community Safety Unit said: “Stalking is a terrifying crime which has a major impact on victims.
“It can create fear, paranoia and victims will often feel violated and distressed.
“The key to protecting victims and alleviating the fear and harm is through people having the knowledge of what stalking is and what to do about it.”
Call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.