Stalking offences set to hit record high in Humberside, new figures suggest
Stalking offences are set to hit a record high this year in Humberside, figures suggest.
Home Office data shows that the number of stalking offences recorded in the six months between April and September by Humberside Police, is already more than four times the amount recorded during the whole previous year.
The force recorded 914 stalking offences between April and September – in the 12 months to March 2020 there were 227.
It means that in the first six months since the coronavirus pandemic hit, stalking was reported five times a day on average.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust said calls to its National Stalking Helpline have risen since the start of the pandemic, with cyber stalking cases also surging.
As lockdown restrictions eased, a higher number of victims came forward to report stalking, compared to the first lockdown months. Between July and September, 613 such crimes were reported in Humberside – 312 more than the previous three months.
Changes in law and procedures may have had an impact on the figures.
A Humberside Police spokesman said: “We take all reports of stalking/harassment incredibly seriously and would encourage any victim to come forward, when they are ready, so we can continue to take action against the perpetrators.
“I want to reassure those in the Humberside Force area that, when you come to us to report that you’re a victim of stalking or harassment , your wellbeing and ensuring that you get the support you need is always at the centre of our investigation.
“We work in partnership with the local authority and a number of local charities and agencies to ensure victims of these crimes are offered advice and support whether they decide to pursue through the justice system or not.
“If you have been the victim of stalking/harassment, there are various ways you can report it to the police. You can speak to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, or you can report directly through our 101 number, or 999 in an emergency.
“Alternatively, The National Stalking Helpline is the first dedicated information and advice service for people affected by stalking or harassment.
“You can call them on 08082 020300, email them at [email protected], or visit their website for more information: www.stalkinghelpline.org.”