On the 25 November 2012 two new stalking offences are being
added to the Protection of Harassment Act 1997.
'Stalking’ and 'Stalking involving fear of
violence or serious alarm or distress’.
Stalking is a term used for a particular kind of 'harassment'.
Generally it describes a long term pattern of persistent and
repeated behaviour. It occurs between all different relationships -
the most common reports relate to ex-partners and/or acquaintances
or and could be:
- repeated attempts to impose unwanted communications
- contacts on another in a way that could be expected to cause
distress or fear in any reasonable person.
Taken in isolation, events might seem unremarkable. But in
particular circumstances and with repetition, they take on a more
Unwanted communications may include telephone calls, letters,
emails, faxes, text messages, messages on social networking sites,
graffiti or sending or leaving unsolicited gifts.
Unwanted intrusions include following, waiting for, spying on,
approaching and going to a person's home. A stalker may also order
or cancel goods or services, make complaints (to legitimate
bodies), damage property or follow and try to talk to you online
- Keep a record of what happened, where and when you were
followed or telephoned, or when you received post or email
- Keep phone messages, texts, relevant letters, objects used in
communications and any social media communications
- Details of people who may have seen these events
- Write down information as soon as possible when events are
still fresh in your mind
- Tell the police if any neighbours or others saw or heard what
- Record how the suspect looked or sounded - what they were
wearing and the make, number plate of any involved car
- Adjust privacy settings on websites and smart phones, keep
personal data safe, change passwords regularly and install
appropriate anti virus/spyware software
- Avoid contacting or confronting the offender and do not attempt
to deal with the situation yourself
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.