Police tell public to be on guard for stalkers

FOUR arrests were made locally since new stalking legislation was introduced 12 months ago.

This week marks that anniversary as well as National Stalking Awareness Week.

The legislation has ensured four arrests in the county with the national figure for the North being 88.


Throughout this week police will be working with partners to raise awareness of this crime type and encourage more victims to come forward.

Detective Superintendent Lindsay Fisher from the Service’s Public Protection Branch said: “We are asking the public to not ignore the red flags. If someone’s behaviour towards you is fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated, this is stalking.

“I think many people when they hear the word ‘stalking’ will think of someone lurking in the shadows. Stalking can actually take many forms and can be online as well as in person and could be someone known to you or a complete stranger.

“It is an insidious crime that takes over and destroys lives. Statistics show that people will suffer up to 100 incidents before reporting to Police. It often results in fear, trauma and a reduction in the victim’s quality of life, in some tragic cases it has resulted in murder.

“We don’t want victims to suffer in silence. Stalking is a crime, which will not be tolerated or accepted within our communities.”

Sarah Mason, CEO of Women’s Aid Federation NI added: “Women’s Aid had long campaigned and greatly welcomed the introduction of specific stalking legislation here in Northern Ireland last year, as we are very clear of the direct links between Domestic Abuse and Stalking, often making leaving a coercively controlling relationship very difficult.

“Now that stalking is a specific offence in Northern Ireland, we expect to see many more perpetrators charged under this new offence as the knowledge of the law change becomes more common amongst the public.”


If you are experiencing any of the above or worried about a loved one who may be being stalking, report to the Police via 101 or call 999 in an emergency or the National Stalking helpline on: 0808 8020300.

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