Police are reminding people who face stalking or harassment that help and support is available to them as part of a national campaign.
Thursday 18 April is National Stalking Awareness Day, and police are urging people to get in touch if they are being stalked - including "online stalking".
The increase in online social networking means "online stalking" is on the rise and advice on how to avoid being harassed while on the internet is available on the Northumbria Police website.
Last November, two new offences of stalking were created, which include the following examples:
Attempting to contact by any means
Spying on a person
"We want people to know they don't have to put up with stalking or harassment and that there is help and support available.
"Most of these offences are linked to domestic violence, in that they often involve former partners and Northumbria Police has a number of specially trained domestic violence officers who will work with victims and offer them the support they need to make sure the behaviour stops.
"It may not be obvious straightaway that someone is being stalked or harassed, the behaviour on it is own may seem innocent but when it is continuous and unwanted it can make the victim feel uncomfortable and distressed.
"It can range from contacting someone, via text or online, to following and watching someone when they don't want to be and can have a damaging effect not just on the victim but those around them.
"People may think it is too trivial to report to police, however, we'd urge them to contact us and to make sure the issue doesn't escalate."
– Detective Chief Inspector Gary Hetherington, from the force's Protecting Vulnerable People department
To report stalking or harassment people can contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or Northumbria Police on 101.
According to new research from a study by Durham University, women in the region do not think that police take rape, domestic violence and stalking as seriously as they should do.
The study found that only half the women would definitely report domestic violence if it happened to them.
"We know that the police have put additional resources and effort into improving both victim care and investigations.
However, this research shows women are still reluctant to make that first step and report these crimes to the police."
– Dr Nicole Westmarland, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Durham University
Only 49 per cent said they would definitely report domestic violence if it happened to them and just over half of women in the study would definitely report stalking to the police.
The study, funded by the Northern Rock Foundation, comes at a time when new legislation is being enforced to criminalise stalking as an offence in its own right for the first time.
"The police are always looking to improve the service we provide to victims of sexual assault; we have improved our service significantly over recent years by listening to the views of victims and experts in this field and will always continue to put the victim at the heart of our response."
– Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry, Durham Constabulary