1. ITV Report

'I wasn't taken seriously': Male stalking victim speaks out following increase in reported offences

The man said he and his family had been “through hell” over the last three years Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

A man who became a victim of stalking says he "wasn't taken seriously" when he reported the crime to the police.

The man, who's asked not to be identified to protect his family, said he’d been “through hell” over a number of years. He says was forced to leave Wales in fear of his and his family’s safety.

He said what began as harassment through phone and email escalated over time.

"My family were in a constant state of terror because of the threats being made to come to our house. They threatened to use baseball bats. When we made 999 calls for assistance, when those threats were being made, the police didn't come to our help so we felt we couldn't live in those conditions anymore"

One victim says he wasn't taken seriously when he reported the crime. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Figures from Wales’ police forces show the number of offences are on the rise from six in 2015 to 38 by last year. South Wales Police saw the biggest jump with 28 offences in 2017 compared with just 4 in 2015. Although a small number, it's an increase of 600%.

From 2015 to 2017 there were 63 reported cases of male stalking in Wales. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Jonathan Drake, Assistant Chief Constable for South Wales Police, said offering more support and training is high on the force's agenda.

"If we've let anyone down I'd be really disappointed, because that's not the quality of service we look for but what I would say is we're not resting on our laurels so I think in general terms the support we give to victims is really high and we want to content to build on that."

Safer Wales says male victims need more support and often don't recognise the signs of being stalked. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Simon Borja from the charity Safer Wales says male victims need more support.

There is help out there. I'd like to urge men to come to us. I think on a positive, with articles like this, it does raise awareness. It does help men come forward I think one of the things historically with stalking and harassment, it's difficult to get evidence and it's difficult for men to recognise as well and get support.

– Simon Borja, Safer Wales

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