Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, said:
“This week is National Stalking Awareness Week – an important week that helps shine a light on the blight that stalking and harassment brings to too many lives. This is vulnerability and risk that I and other PCCs have worked to mitigate, putting in place measures that protect and support victims.
“Today my colleague from Sussex, Katy Bourne, is also highlighting the role of courts and policing through a report she commissioned to examine her efforts in her area to focus on the harm created by stalking. The national recommendations from this report highlight the need to put additional focus on this particular area of policing, and I will continue to work closely with the Chief Constable to ensure Hampshire Constabulary is following national best practice.
“However, the issue of stalking needs to be looked at in a wider context, with other services, including health, recognising the signs much better and providing appropriate support. It’s essential that victims can access support services that help them cope with the psychological distress stalking can cause.
“In Hampshire we have pioneered a victim-centred approach that does just that. Our Stalking Clinic – founded in 2012 – provides victims of stalking with an independent stalking advocate, someone who can give them specialist, ongoing support. These advocates work closely with the victim and their families providing them with advice, safety planning and guidance through the criminal justice process and beyond. They speak up for victims and make sure their voice is heard.
“The Stalking Clinic is recognised nationally as best practice and has been replicated in other areas.”