What to do if you think you're being stalked, and what does the law say?
If you think you are being stalked it is very important you trust your instincts - that's the advice from police.
They advise calling officers on 101 or ringing the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.
A spokesman said: “All reports will be taken seriously and we can also offer support and advice through our network of partner agencies.”
One of the things that can make it difficult for police and others to deal with harassment and stalking is the continuous, repetitive nature of what may seem like small incidents.
“Helping the police and courts to see the bigger picture can make it much easier to deal with the offender’s behaviour.
Things you can do, straightaway, if you think you are experiencing harassment or stalking include:
Keeping a diary of events. Write down the date, time, location and details of what happens. It’s also a good idea to include information about any other witnesses who can confirm what happened.
Keeping copies of letters, text messages and emails, and taking screenshots of other online messages (e.g. on Facebook).
Trying to get ‘evidence’ of any events that happen at your home – but be careful to do this discreetly.
Call police on 101
Stalking: The Law
Stalking was made a criminal offence in England and Wales in November 2012.
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 created two new offences of stalking.
Whilst there is no strict legal definition of ‘stalking’, section 2A (3) of the PHA 1997 sets out examples of acts associated with stalking such as following a person, watching or spying on them or forcing contact with the victim through any means, including social media.