Following the successful All Party Parliamentary Stalking Law Reform Inquiry, stalking became a criminal offence in 2012.
Stalking is about fixation and obsession. It is a high risk factor for serious harm and homicide as well as serious psychological harm if left unchecked. For this reason there are specific questions in the DASH about stalking.
Stalking and Harassment Screening Questions*
- These 11 questions are an important subset of questions to ask if the victim discloses stalking and harassment.
- These questions can be asked in all stalking and harassment cases and not just domestic abuse. Please ensure you document the full extent of the behaviour.
- These questions are important to ask in all stalking incidents as the answers will give you an indication of exactly what is happening, risk and potential evidence collection and case building.
- This information should then be used to inform the risk management plan.
- Is the victim very frightened?
- Is there previous domestic abuse or stalking/harassment history?
- Has (insert name if known of the stalker) vandalised or destroyed your property?
- Have they turned up unannounced more than three times a week?
- Have they followed or loitered near your home or workplace?
- Have they made threats of a physical or sexual violence nature?
- Have they harassed or stalked any third party since the harassment began?
- Have they acted violently towards anyone else during the stalking incident?
- Have they engaged other people to help with their activities?
- Have they had problems in the past year with drugs, alcohol or mental health?
- Have they ever been in trouble with the police or do they have a criminal history?
*The screening questions were devised by Drs Lorraine Sheridan and Karl Roberts. Laura Richards worked with Lorraine and Karl to operationalise the process for the police service, writing the practice guidance, tactical menu of intervention options and developing the training package on behalf of NPCC.
If you are a victim of stalking
Click on Stalking Advice for more information
For further specialist advice and support please call Paladin, the National Stalking Advocacy Service 020 3866 4107 www.paladinservice.co.uk
- Stalking is about fixation and obsession.
- Stalking is insidious and a pattern of behaviour which often includes online and offline behaviour.
- Do not think it is any less serious if there has been no physical violence.
- Laura was the specialist adviser to the All Party Parliamentary Stalking Law Reform Inquiry, is Co-founder and Director of Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service and spearheaded the campaign on Domestic Violence Law Reform.
- Training on the Stalking Law Home Office Circular 018/2012 and risk can be arranged as a half day or full day. Contact email@example.com
- NEW for 2017: Stalking training September 26 for professionals in central London. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org