Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which runs the National Stalking Helpline, has announced that it has secured funding from the Police Transformation Fund, via the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC), for a pioneering project working with perpetrators of stalking.

The initiative, which is the first of its kind worldwide, will aim to improve responses to stalking across the criminal justice system and the health sector through rehabilitative treatment for stalkers. Ultimately, it is hoped that working with perpetrators can help to make victims of stalking safer.

Stalking is a devastating crime which is characterised by obsession and fixation, and commonly causes prolonged suffering for victims. On average, stalking lasts for six months to two years, with around a third of all cases involving physical violence. Recent research has found that 55% of stalking perpetrators go on to reoffend, and 36% have a previous conviction for harassment. However, the complex psychological issues associated with the crime often fail to be addressed within current criminal justice solutions.

By contrast, the new intervention programmes will aim to gain a better understanding of any mental health problems associated with stalking. The countrywide pilots intend to use an integrated, multi-agency approach. The initiative will assess risk, gain understanding of psychological drivers, and encourage cessation and desistance of stalking behaviours.

The project will see the UK’s leading personal safety and stalking charity, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, develop and test perpetrator interventions in conjunction with partners including Cheshire Constabulary, Hampshire Constabulary, the Metropolitan Police Service, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.