Lancashire Constabulary is supporting National Stalking Awareness Day which focuses on stalking in the workplace with the theme “Working Without Fear”.
The main aim of the day is to increase the public’s understanding of the crime and ensure it is taken seriously.
Stalking can have life changing consequences for victims.
The workplace should be a place of refuge and safety but sadly, 1 in 20 callers to the National Stalking Helpline are stalked by a colleague or ex-colleague.
Stalking ruins people’s lives and in November 2012 amendments to the Protection from Harassment Act were made meaning stalking is now a specific criminal offence in England and Wales.
Stalking is not legally defined but the amendments include a list of example behaviours which are the following, contacting/attempting to contact, publishing statements or material about the victim, monitoring the victim (including online), loitering in a public or private place, interfering with property, that amounts to harassment.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men are stalked at some point in their life.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Everyone has the right to work without fear, and that is why I am supporting the drive to raise awareness of stalking in the workplace.
“Stalking is a crime the police take seriously – and if you, or anyone you know is a victim I would urge you to come forward and report it.
“It is important we use today to raise awareness of this issue, and publicise the help which is available to victims both in Lancashire and nationally.”
Detective Chief Inspector Sue Cawley from Lancashire Constabulary said: “Stalking can have devastating consequences and can escalate to other more physical crimes.
“Nearly half of stalkers will present at their victim’s workplace but changes to the law enable us to deal with such reports much more effectively.
“Here in Lancashire we are fully supporting the awareness day and are committed to tackling the problem of stalking and offer as much support as possible to the people affected.
“If you’re being stalked it is very important you trust your instincts.
“We would urge anyone who is being affected by stalking to contact us using the 101 number or ring the National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300.
“I want to reassure people that the reports will be taken seriously and dealt with robustly.”
For further advice and support log onto www.stalkinghelpline.org/faq/about-stalking.