Educate yourself about numbers, legislation and the prevention of stalking
Think you’re being stalked?
Are you 16-24 years old? Chat to our Young People’s Advocate at Paladin.
In November 2012, stalking became a named offence in England and Wales for the first time.
Cyberstalking is the same as the definition above but includes the use on online tools and technologies to either enable the stalking or complete the stalking end to end.
Cyberstalking can occur alongside physical stalking too and the usual behaviours of cyberstalking are (but not limited to):
- Creating fake profiles to monitor / contact you.
- Hacking into your accounts and restricting access.
- Hacking into your smart devices from third party apps or if they know your login details e.g., Amazon Alexa, Wi-fi Hub etc.
- Using location trackers to monitor you e.g. Find My Phone, Snapchat location map, tagged images etc.
- Receiving direct threats via social media or emails.
- Using your image / information to create false accounts.
Legislation & Figures
Following a hugely successful Stalking Law Reform Campaign in Parliament spearheaded by Paladin founders and other victim led partners, two new offences of stalking were introduced on November 25 2012.
Stalking is a crime.
Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 , (amended by Protection of Freedoms Act 2012) it is necessary to prove a course of conduct amounting to harassment (Section 2) or stalking (Section 2a) or fear of violence (Section 4) or stalking (Section 4a) which causes serious alarm or distress which has a substantial adverse effect on the victims usual day-to-day activities which the perpetrator knows or ought to know amounts to harassment or stalking or fear of violence.
A course of conduct is conduct that occurs on at least two occasions. Most stalking cases should be arrested and charged at Section 4a. It also has a power of entry to perpetrator address if the suspect has been arrested.
Section 2a allows for a warrant to search the perpetrators home address.
Paladin NSAS with our partners on the National Stalking Consortia have worked tirelessly to drive change. There have been many positive gains in recent years. Each police force now has a designated Stalking Lead and there is a commitment from national leads to continue to implement force wide changes. Stalking Protection Orders were introduced in 2021 (CPS Infopage) and research in the field is increasing (Home Office, 2022).
However, individuals that we support tell us there continues to be limited knowledge, awareness and education about stalking. Many people and agencies, including law enforcement, still do not fully understand stalking behaviours and the risks associated with it.
We can assure you that most police officers want to help, but they sometimes have not had access to the tools and training needed. They may not understand how frightening it is when it is happening to you. You may be told that unless there is physical violence or threats to harm made it is not so serious, we know that this is not the case.