Nottinghamshire Police is supporting National Stalking Awareness Week, along with other forces across the country, to help spread awareness of the issue.
The week, which is organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, is about raising awareness of stalking and telling the stories behind the statistics.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was founded in 1986 by Diana and Paul Lamplugh, following the disappearance and presumed murder of their 25-year-old daughter Suzy, who disappeared during the course of her work as an estate agent while showing a client round a house in Fulham.
The charity aims to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education and support.
The trust also raises awareness of stalking and what to do if you feel you’re being stalked.
Anyone can become a victim of stalking, regardless of age, gender, job or location.
According to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, one in five women and one in 10 men in the UK are stalked at some point in their lives.
Stalking is defined as ‘a pattern of fixated and obsessive behaviour which is repeated, persistent, intrusive and causes fear of violence or engenders serious alarm or distress in the victim.’
Ultimately, if the behaviour is persistent, clearly unwanted and causing you fear, distress or anxiety, then you should report this as soon as possible.
DCI Clare Dean, force lead for stalking, said: “The impact on victims of stalking should not be underestimated. These crimes have a devastating and lasting effect on the mental and physical wellbeing of survivors.
“We know that survivors often do not report stalking until they have experienced around 100 incidents. We want to encourage people to come forward and report this earlier.
"It’s a serious offence and we will do everything we can to protect those who are suffering and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Nottinghamshire Police are proud of their commitment to working in partnership to tackle stalking.
The last year has seen the recruitment of a stalking safeguarding officer to support the police response to these high risk crimes and the introduction of multi-agency stalking clinics to focus on the management of perpetrators.
Anyone who is concerned about stalking, or thinks they are being targeted, should report it to police on 101 as soon as possible, or 999 in an emergency.