Stalking and Harassment
Are you being stalked or harassed?
Stalking is when someone repeatedly follows you, communicates with you or intrudes into your privacy. They could be either a stranger or someone you know.
Stalking isn't a 'one off' crime, it's a series of incidents that might seem trivial when you look at them separately (bumping into someone outside your house, for example, or getting text messages) but when you put them together they become far more sinister.
Harassment is when an individual or group alarms you, causes you distress or puts you in fear of violence.
If you are a victim of stalking or harassment, what can you do?
Stalking is a significant problem in the UK:
- According to the British Crime Survey, over 1.2 million women and 900,000 men are stalked every year.
- 80% of victims are stalked by someone they know. In 40% of cases reported to the National Stalking Helpline, the stalker is an ex partner.
- Nearly half of victims give up social activities as a result of being stalked.
If you are being stalked or harassed, getting help early improves the chances of stopping it and protecting you. So don't wait. If you are being stalked or harassed, report it.
You can report stalking or harassment in the following ways:
- By phone: Call 101
- In person at your local police station or to a police officer or community support officer
If the stalking or harassment is still in progress or offenders are still at the scene, call 999.
More information and advice
The National Stalking Helpline is an information and advice service for people affected by stalking or harassment. Helpline staff will offer practical advice to people about personal safety, how to collect evidence and what to do about the different stalking behaviours - such as silent phone calls or malicious communications. It will also provide information about the two different legal routes that can be taken under the Protection Against Harassment Act.