Improved Responses to Stalking Still Needed One Year on from Alice Ruggles’ Murder On the 12th of October 2016, Alice Ruggles was murdered by Trimaan Dhillon after she had reported him to the police for stalking. One year on, the National Stalking Helpline says lessons still need to be learnt from the way Alice’s case was managed. Rachel Griffin, Chief Executive of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust which runs the National Stalking Helpline, said: “One year on from the tragic murder of Alice Ruggles, there is a continued need for change in the way that stalking cases are managed across the criminal justice system. Although 1.1 million people experience stalking every year, the prevalence of this crime, and the risk associated with obsessive, fixated behaviours, continue to be underestimated. Victims are still being let down by police and prosecutors due to lack of specialist training and services. Alice’s murder highlighted the devastating consequences of failing to take stalking seriously. Before he killed Alice, Trimaan Dhillon’s actions should have been considered as alarming: he sent Alice hundreds of texts, hacked her social media accounts, delivered unwanted gifts, and repeatedly ignored the Police Information Notice he had been issued. Dhillon left Alice scared and withdrawn; his fixated behaviour should have acted as a warning sign to the police, but instead Alice was asked what she wanted done about him. Tragically, Alice’s terrible experience is not unique. Research we released in April found that stalking behaviours were present in 94% of criminal homicide cases where a female victim was murdered by a male perpetrator, and that stalking behaviours can escalate in severity suddenly. With this information in mind, it is concerning that patterns of behaviours, and the malicious intent which underpins them, continue to be repeatedly overlooked or unrecognised by criminal justice professionals. It is vital that police officers and prosecutors alike are able to recognise stalking behaviours, and are equipped to respond appropriately so that risk to victims is managed. Every day at the National Stalking Helpline, we hear from victims whose safety and wellbeing have been compromised by the lack of response from criminal justice professionals. Frequently, lack of knowledge about stalking behaviours, and the terrible impact that these behaviours can have, mean that stalking victims are not given the support and protection they need. We welcome the IPCC inquiry into how police conducted Alice’s case, and hope that any learnings will have a wider impact on the way that stalking cases are handled. It is imperative that all criminal justice professionals undertake robust, specialist stalking training to ensure that stalking is identified at the earliest possible stage and managed. Our thoughts are with Alice’s family on the first anniversary of this tragedy.” . Anyone who is a victim of stalking, or is worried about someone’s behaviour towards them, can get free, confidential, expert advice and support from the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.