Stalking on the rise as Cambridgeshire Police warn of changing offender behaviour

A hand typing on a computer
Stalkers are increasingly using the internet to target their victims, according to police Credit: ITV News

The number of stalking and harassment offences being reported in Cambridgeshire are increasing, police have warned.

In January-March 2021, 1,826 crimes were reported, an increase of 25% compared to the same period in 2020.

Officers have also warned that the pandemic has seen more stalking carried out online.

Detective Superintendent John Massey said: "Sadly, throughout the Covid pandemic, stalking has continued and many offenders have moved their harassment online, which triggers different but equally serious fears among victims."

This week is Stalking Awareness Week, with Cambridgeshire Police taking the opportunity to remind the public of the signs of stalking behaviour.

The FOUR signs of stalking:

  • Fixated

  • Obsessive

  • Unwanted

  • Repeated

While stalking can take a physical form, constantly sending unwanted messages or gifts using the internet can also constitute criminal behaviour.

Detective Superintendent Massey added: "Stalking can be a terrifying experience and leave victims feeling isolated and frightened.

"This week is an opportunity for us to highlight our commitment to supporting victims and taking action against offenders.

"Stalking isn’t a one-off crime and often includes a series of incidents which, when taken in isolation may seem trivial, but when put together can be really scary."

For information and advice about stalking people can visit the dedicated page on Cambridgeshire Police's website, or call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.

 To report stalking call police on 101, or in the case of an emergency dial 999.