Avon and Somerset Police are urging victims of stalking to come forward.

The message comes as National Stalking Awareness Week starts on Monday, April 24. The campaign is run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to raise awareness of stalking and personal safety.

Suzy Lamplugh was an estate agent who went missing in 1986. In 1993 she was presumed murdered, although her body was never found.

Stalking is defined as a pattern of repeated and unwanted behaviour which causes a person to feel fear or distress.

Detective Chief Inspector Roger Doxsey, Avon and Somerset Police lead for stalking said, “We will do everything we can to pursue the perpetrators of stalking and seek justice for those who are having to live in fear. We have a strong and immediate tool we can use with the new Stalking Protection Orders, so I urge people to come forward and ask for help if they are experiencing unwanted patterns of repeated behaviour from anyone that is causing them to feel worried or scared.  

“Stalking can happen to anyone, although women and girls are more likely to experience it. It is defined by the perpetrator having a fixed obsession on the person they are targeting. It could be someone you know, such as a former partner, or it may be a stranger. Either way – it is an offence. We are here to enable people to live their lives safely, and free from harm.”

Anyone who suspects they are being stalked or harassed can report it online, or by contacting 101. If you are in immediate danger, call 999. There is also support available from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust through the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or via the Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service on 020 3866 4107.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust seeks to offer training and education to people, businesses and organisations on the importance of personal safety and raising awareness of the dangers of stalking. They are offering free online training to anyone to join to be empowered to know what they can safely do if they witness street harassment in order to stop it happening: https://www.suzylamplugh.org/Pages/Events/Category/events