‘Getting this right is crucial’: Police crackdown on stalking and harassment in Lincolnshire

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Lincolnshire Police will continue to prioritise cracking down on stalking and harassment in the county, with one top cop insisting getting it right is crucial.

Following an HMIC report published on July 5, Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West has spoke with Lincolnshire Reporter about what the county force is doing to tackle stalking and harassment.

According to latest figures, released by Lincolnshire Police, in 2016–17, the force had 10 crimes of stalking recorded within Lincolnshire and 914 for harassment.

Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West

It is believed one in five women and one in 10 men will experience stalking in their adult life and victims do not tend to report to the police until the 100th incident.

With this in mind, Lincolnshire Police are committed to:

  • Stopping the use of Police Information Notices (PINS)
  • Ensuring officers have a good working knowledge of the legislation, for example, powers of entry and searching, which is specifically part of this legislation
  • Working with partners to ensure there is a holistic approach within the county to support victims and address offender behaviour
  • Adopting the new Authorised Professional Practice (APP) published by College of Policing
  • Understanding the scale of stalking and harassment in Lincolnshire with local partners, including Lincolnshire CPS
  • Tackling perpetrators of crime at an early stage to help prevent victims becoming targets of a prolonged campaign of abuse
  • Exploring opportunities for joint working, which includes both the police and mental health services working with perpetrators of stalking to reduce offending

Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West told Lincolnshire Reporter: “Getting this right, first time and every time, is crucial.

“Stalking comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, effecting all ages, diversities and genders and centres on obsessive and fixated behaviour.

“It has only been in legislation since 2012.

“The core commonality with stalking is that there is a pattern, which may seem quite insignificant to extreme including aggressive behaviour and threats of death.

“The numbers of it being reported and recorded in Lincolnshire are relatively small, but for me that does not take away from the seriousness of the crime.”