National Stalking Awareness Day will take place on the 24 April 2014 and will focus on stalking in the workplace with the theme “Working Without Fear”.
Stalking is a serious crime with life changing consequences for victims.
The workplace should be a place of refuge and safety.
Sadly, 1 in 20 callers to the National Stalking Helpline are stalked by a colleague or ex-colleague.
Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Wenham said:
“Stalking and harassment is an issue that Cheshire Police takes very seriously. Any report is treated with confidence, professionalism and care, ensuring that the person affected is listened to and that everything possible is done to protect them and put an end to this distressing crime.”
“I’m working with the Constabulary and other agencies to ensure victims get the correct support and advice that they need.”
It can take many different forms – from someone repeatedly turning up at the victim’s home or place of work, to sending gifts and e-mails or using social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Stalking differs from harassment in that the stalker will have an obsession or fixation with the person they are targeting.
John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire said:
“Being a victim of stalking and harassment can be an unpleasant and worrying time in anybody’s life whether it’s inside or outside the workplace.
Stalking is repeated and unwanted contact from someone, which leaves the victim feeling fearful or distressed”.
In a quarter of the cases reported to the National Stalking Helpline, a stalker will appear at the victim’s workplace.
Half of the people subjected to stalking reduce or stop work because they are being targeted in their workplace.
Often the stalker who appears at the place of work is an ex-partner, with the victim possibly having experienced domestic abuse within the relationship.
Some are colleagues or clients of the victim, others are using the workplace as somewhere that they know their victim will be on a regular basis.
DCI Wenham added:
“Stalking can have serious consequences. It can lead to people losing their jobs, it can cause extreme stress and, in many cases, put people at risk of harm. Being stalked is inevitably life changing, victims have to alter their everyday behavior in order to try and be free from the fear of their stalker.
“Simple things such as a journey to work or the shops can become a complicated ordeal with the victim constantly having to alter simple routines and habits which might give their stalker an opportunity to contact them.”
“But it doesn’t have to be this way, victims of stalking are urged to come forward and report the issue to us. If you feel you are in immediate danger dial 999”.
Victims are also encouraged to trust their instincts, confide in a colleague or speak to a supervisor or manager if they are able to and describe the stalker or show a photograph to those they work with. Also, keep any evidence and a log of what is happening and do not respond to the stalker.
For further advice and support contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or log onto: