If you are being stalked, you can complain to the police or apply for an injunction and damages through a civil court.

To get in contact with the police, either go to your local police station, or call the non emergency number and make an appointment. It might help to write down what has happened to you and take that with you as well as any questions you may have so that you don't forget anything you want to include.

If the stalker is arrested, you can talk to the police about whether bail conditions will be imposed. Bail conditions could, for instance, say that the stalker is not to contact you or approach you. If they breach the bail conditions then bail could be revoked and they could be remanded in prison.

If the case is prosecuted in a criminal court the stalker could receive a prison sentence and you could be granted a restraining order.

You can also apply for an injunction against the stalker through a County Court under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 or under the Family Law Act Part IV. An injunction under the Family Law Act is called a Non Molestation Order and you can only get one if you are 'associated' with the perpetrator, for example if you were married or lived together or they were a family member. However, anyone can apply for an injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act.

If the stalker breaches an injunction under either of the above Acts they can be imprisoned by the County Court or prosecuted and imprisoned by a criminal court.

There are differences in the law in Scotland and we produce a separate leaflet containing information for people in Scotland. 

If you are ever in immediate danger call the Police on 999


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 guideliness 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. You may want to take with you a log of everything that has happened and any evidence you have retained. There are links on our site detailing how best to keep a log and how to preserve evidence.