Stalking victim urges others to seek police help as soon as possible
A woman who was receiving hundreds of messages every week from a stalker in Nottinghamshire says going to police for help has made a huge difference to her life.
Sarah, who is in her 30s, met her stalker at a work event several years ago and struck up an online friendship with him but as time went on the man began contacting her more and more – sending dozens of messages a day and threatening to harm himself if she did not reply.
She lives in another part of the country but contacted her local police force in January 2020 – and, because her stalker lived in Nottinghamshire, her case was transferred to county’s force.
Specialist officers supported her through the criminal process and were successful in bringing a prosecution against her stalker, who was eventually convicted of stalking and fined £250.
More significantly, he was handed a restraining order forbidding him from making contact with his victim.
Now brave Sarah is urging other victims to learn from her experience and to take action.
She said: “I think most people are wary about going to the police, partly because they don’t want to waste officers’ time. They may also be worried whether their concerns will be taken seriously, but from my experiences with two police forces I spoke to I can say that there really is nothing to worry about.
“Looking back I really wish I had gone to the police earlier about this but I was just uncertain about what to expect. Now I know more about the process and what happens I would urge any other victims of stalking to contact the police – even if you are not 100 per cent sure that what is happening to you is stalking.
"It is a big step to take but as soon as I did it things started to get better for me.”
Det Insp Jo Elbourn, tactical stalking lead for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “As this case demonstrates, we will do our utmost to support victims through what we know can be a very difficult ordeal – but we can only do that once people reach out to us for help.
"We know that can be a difficult step to take but we really do want to hear from victims as early as possible.”