Stalking cases reported to police in Nottinghamshire have more than doubled in one year, according to the force.
In 2019, Nottinghamshire Police recorded 492 crimes of stalking – more than double the number of cases from the previous year.
From today (January 20), stalking is set to be tackled by new legislation that will protect victims.
The Stalking Protection Act 2019 has introduced a new civil Stalking Protection Order (SPO) which can be applied for by police forces from today.
The aim of SPOs is to enable early police intervention to address stalking behaviours before they escalate.
Detective Inspector Amy Styles-Jones is based in the Public Protection department at Nottinghamshire Police and has been a force lead for stalking for the past 18 months.
“Stalking is a criminal offence that, due to the advances with technology – particularly smart phones and the internet – perpetrators will find it easy to discover a lot of information about someone through a quick scroll on social media,” said DI Amy Styles-Jones.
DI Styles-Jones added: “Stalking is sinister and dangerous and if not stopped can lead to serious violence and unfortunately on some occasions, death.
“Stalking is different from harassment in that the perpetrator will be fixated and obsessed about their victim and this will cause a huge impact on their day to day living.
“Stalkers can be motivated by a range of factors; from being an ex-partner to an ex-employee who will be jealous or feel resentful.
“The stalker might be someone that is lonely and craves intimacy and can be delusional about the other person’s feelings toward them, or they might be a sexually predatory individual.
“The impact of stalking on victims is huge and can lead to changing their job, home, routines, personal relationships and interactions with friends, including online.
"Given the impact that stalking has on people, I am really excited by the launch of this new piece of legislation.
“As our understanding of stalking has grown, we have introduced steps to support victims and find those responsible.”