It is a criminal offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
Stalking is differentiated as a specific behaviour, rather than merely as harassment, by the nature of the behaviour experienced. The Metropolitan Police outline four warning signs of stalking behaviour as:
- following a person,
- contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means (for example, this could include turning up to someone's house, place of work or place of study),
- publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person, or purporting to originate from a person (for example, this could include creating fake profiles as the person),
- monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication (this could include creating a fake profile to follow someone on social media when they have been blocked),
- loitering in any place (whether public or private),
- interfering with any property in the possession of a person (for example, this could include graffiti, or leaving items in someone's bag for them to find)
- watching or spying on a person (for example, this could also involve asking someone else to watch someone and report back)
causes another to fear that violence will be used against them
causes another serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect of their usual day-to-day activities.
If you think that you are being stalked then report this to the police as soon as possible.
In an emergency contact 999 or for non-emergency contact 101.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment, use textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
If you don't feel ready to speak to the police directly, you can report this anonymously to Crimestoppers.
You can also contact the National Stalking Helpline to access advice and support from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300
What help and support can you access internally?
We understand that experiencing stalking behaviour may leave you feeling anxious, stressed, worried, scared and a loss of feeling in control. You may fear that you won't be believed, you may feel that you won't be understood or that you might not be able to explain exactly what is happening.
Remember, you are not to blame.
We are here to listen, to understand and to support you to access the help that you need. What this looks like will be individual to you. We recognise you may need urgent access to a range of support to feel safe so there are links in this article to advice and information.
Reach out through Report + Support to discuss with an advisor.
The counselling team are also available and can be contacted on 020 7873 7303 (9am to 5pm) or by email email@example.com
Network for Surviving Stalking support victims of stalking.
Protection Against Stalking has a range of useful information and advice.
Paladin supports high risk victims of stalking throughout England and Wales.
Surviving Stalking is a blog by Tracey Morgan, a victim of stalking.
Victim Support provide free confidential help to victims of crime and anyone affected.