Is stalking against the law?

Stalking is against the law and the police should take it seriously.

If you choose to report a stalking offence to the police, it is important to try and gather as much evidence as possible of what has been happening to you. This might include audio recordings, films or pictures, along with copies of emails, text messages, screenshots and similar. You could also keep a log of all the incidents that have occurred.

If you are gathering evidence against your stalker, be careful when taking video footage or pictures as we have come across cases where the stalker has then complained that the victim is harassing them. If you are unsure then you can talk to the police about this first.

What are the police guidelines for investigating harassment and stalking in England and Wales?

You can read the ACPO and National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) best practice guidelines in relation to harassment and stalking by clicking here

What if I am not happy with the police response?

Most police officers want to be able to help you but may lack the training to have a full understanding of what stalking is, the risk factors associated with it and the distress it can cause. Many forces now have an officer who acts as a single point of contact (SPOC) for stalking problems; you could go back to the police and ask to speak with this officer. If the person you speak with does not know who the SPOC is, or if the force does not have one then ask to speak with someone in the public protection unit, or if the stalker is an ex-intimate or family member ask to speak with a domestic abuse officer. Take with you a completed Stalking risk checklist and explain how you feel. You may also want to take with you a log of everything that has happened and any evidence you have retained. There are links on this site detailing how best to keep a log and how to preserve evidence.

You can also contact the National Stalking Helpline for information, advice and support