POLICE are highlighting the potentially devastating impact of stalking.
Hampshire Constabulary officers were today across Portsmouth in Commercial Road, Palmerston Road and at the University of Portsmouth’s Students’ Union in Cambridge Road.
Advice was to be offered by Sergeant Adrian Jennings on the force’s Facebook page between noon and 1pm as part of Stalking Awareness Day.
It comes as Home Office figures show one in five women and one in 10 men will be stalked at some point.
Detective Chief Inspector Linda Dawson has contributed to the Home Office’s consultation on stalking reform and led a review of the force’s working practices.
As a result new guidance to officers on stalking and harassment was to be published today
Det Chief Insp Dawson said: ‘A series of stalking incidents can be hugely debilitating for the victim, especially if they are not supported by family, friends or even professionals.
‘It can lead to some of the most serious crimes police can deal with, such as domestic violence, sexual assault and murder.
‘We are putting much greater emphasis on the “intimate relationship” aspect of harassment because of their increased risk factors and recognise the increased use of sophisticated technology by stalkers.
‘However, we are not losing sight of the fact that in many cases there was never an intimate relationship.’
Call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.