Stalking awareness week

A woman using a phone with someone in the background

Merseyside Police is continuing to support stalking victims as part of National Stalking Awareness week.

The theme for the week, which runs until 24th April 2020, is See Stalking Clearly – to emphasise that, despite the current Coronavirus pandemic, police and our partner agencies continue to recognise stalking for the serious crime that it is and will respond accordingly. Support for victims through the National Stalking Helpline has not changed.

Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs from our Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: "Stalking is a pattern of unwanted, fixated and obsessive behaviour which is intrusive. Stalking causes alarm, distress or fear of violence.

"We understand that in the current lockdown victims of stalking may feel more vulnerable due to their own movements being restricted and potentially stalking behaviour continuing. We want to reassure them that we will continue to support them during this difficult time.

"Protecting vulnerable people is a priority for the force and we encourage any victim of stalking to report offences to the police. I want to assure those who do come forward that we will investigate reports thoroughly and with discretion and our specially trained officers will be on hand to provide safeguarding, support and reassurance.

"Merseyside Police and our partners are acutely aware that the experience of being stalked can change people’s lives dramatically. Victims of stalking offences can quite rightly feel unsettled, distressed and isolated which is why it is important that we support National Stalking Awareness week in order to get the message out that help and support is always available.

"We are also encouraging the Merseyside public to become familiar with ‘The Silent Solution’ system; a system in place which alerts police if you are in imminent danger but unable to speak. This enables a 999 mobile caller who is too scared to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted – to inform police they are in a genuine emergency.

"If you feel you have been a victim of stalking, please contact us on 101 or @MerPolCC. If you are ever in immediate danger always dial 999. If you do not want to contact the police at this time then seek support from other agencies, for example, the National Stalking Helpline, a project run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, on 0808 802 0300 or speak to friends and family about what is happening. But above all else: don’t suffer in silence."

Anyone who has information in relation to a stalking offence is encouraged to contact Merseyside Police on 101, @MerPolCC or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. #seestalkingclearly #NSAW2020