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18 April 2012, 12:08 | Updated: 18 April 2012, 12:43
Police are telling stalking victims not to ‘Suffer in Silence’
Norfolk and Suffolk are part of The National Stalking Awareness Day, which starts today. It is to encourage those who believe they have been targeted by stalking to seek help.
Stalking is a repeated pattern of unwanted behavior, which leaves victims feeling distressed and scared. Between April 21011 and April 2012 in Norfolk there has been 195 cases recorded under the protection from harassment act 1997 while in Suffolk there has been 528 reported cases.
Detector inspector Ross McDermott of Norfolk Constabulary, said, “Stalking often has a huge emotional impact on the victim who can feel very much alone and unable to seek help for fear of repercussions or that they will not be taken seriously”.
Detective chief Inspector Stuart McCallum of Suffolk Police says, “Only by increasing reporting can we gain a full understanding of the extent of stalking”. He adds, “No-one need feel alone, they should not just accept that this is something which is happening to them”.
The National Stalking campaign along with ‘Stalking talking’ is hoped to encourage victims to come forward and seek help.
Advice leaflets will be provided to victims across the two counties. In Norfolk, the bus company FIRST has agreed to display posters on their buses to promote the campaign.
What is stalking?
‘Stalking’ is a term used for ‘harassment’. It occurs between all different relationships.
It is repeated attempts to impose unwanted communications and contacts on another on a way that could be expected to cause distress or fear in any reasonable person.
Unwanted communications may include telephone calls, letters, emails, faxes, text messages, social networking sites, and graffiti.
Advice for victims:
- Keep a record of what happened, write it down as soon as possible so it’s fresh in your mind
- Details of people who may have seen these events
- Record how the suspect looked sounded. What they were wearing and the make, number plate of any car involved.
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times