Today, April 24, marks the beginning of National Stalking Awareness Week and the one year anniversary of stalking legislation going live across Northern Ireland.
This week Police across Northern Ireland will be sharing statistics and working with partners to raise awareness and encourage more victims to come forward.
This morning, Police in Mid Ulster announced that they have arrested 6 alleged stalkers over the last 12 months.
A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “We want victims to feel confident reporting, knowing that the law is on their side.
You don’t have to suffer in silence. Report to Police online, via 101 or 999 in an emergency”.
The PSNI offer an online support hub with help and advice for victims of stalking or harassing behaviour.
Advice states: “Stalking and harassment is when someone repeatedly behaves in a way that makes you feel scared, distressed or threatened. There are different types of stalking and harassment and anyone can be a victim. Stalking and harassment are now offences under the Protection from Stalking Act NI 2022.”
The Police Service of Northern Ireland have outlined stalking and harassment behaviours to look out for on their website here.
Red flags of a stalker may include:
– Regularly following someone and tracking their movements
– Repeatedly going uninvited to their home or workplace
– Checking someone’s internet use, email or other communications
– Hanging around somewhere they know the person often visits
– Interfering with their property
– Watching or spying on someone
– Identity theft (buying things in someone’s name)
If you are experiencing any of the above or worried about a loved one who may be being stalking – report to the Police via 101 or call 999 in an emergency.
There is also other help and support available to you:
National Stalking Helpline. Practical advice and information to anyone who is currently or previously has been affected by harassment or stalking. Phone: 0808 8020300