South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has highlighted the impact of stalking on victims and how the force responds to reports, during National Stalking Awareness Week.
Organisers of National Stalking Awareness Week, taking place 25 – 29th April, hope to encourage more victims to report stalking to the police, helping to paint a better picture for forces across the country.
Dr Billings said: “When someone has an unwanted fixation on another person and pursues that obsessively and repeatedly, that can affect every aspect of the victim’s life.
“Research has shown that eight in ten victims experience effects that are akin to post-traumatic stress disorder. It has led people to move home or change their jobs in a bid to escape the stalker. It has led to people’s social lives being destroyed. It can affect people of any social group and any age. A victim can feel alone, isolated, vulnerable, frightened and powerless.”
South Yorkshire Police (SYP) has a lead superintendent for stalking and harassment and officers receive appropriate training.
Dr Billings added: “The police can now apply to the court for a Stalking Protection Order (SPO), though the threshold for securing one is higher than for a Domestic Violence Protection Order. I hope measures such as these will encourage victims of stalking to come forward.”