More than 100 stalking and harassment cases reported to police

Barry Coppinger

Barry Coppinger

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Police are highlighting the support available for victims of stalking and harassment as part of a national week of awareness.

Cleveland Police dealt with 106 reports over the past four years, with 70% of cases seeing the alleged perpetrator charged to court.

The local figures have been released as part of National Stalking Awareness Week alongside national research which suggests that there is a strong correlation between some key stalking behaviours and homicide.

The research by the University of Gloucestershire culminated in a six-month study of 350 cases of criminal homicide and found that in almost every case the killer displayed the obsessive, fixated behaviour associated with stalking.

Cleveland Police believe there are still victims in the area suffering in silence and urge them to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Helen Barker said: “We are here to help and have officers trained to support victims and investigate these offences. With the advent of the social media and other online platforms, there are more opportunities for people to be stalked and harassed. Regardless of the media that is used, the effects on the victim are long lasting and far-reaching and I would urge victims to come forward and report to us in confidence.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “Men and women can be victim to stalking or harassment and it’s important that this is recognised in the support that is available.”

Anyone wanting further information on stalking and harassment can visit www.cleveland.police.uk or call the National Stalking Helpline 0808 802 0300 or by visit www.stalkinghelpline.org