APCC Victims Lead, Dame Vera Baird QC PCC said:
“Stalking is one of the most frequently experienced forms of abuse and can often escalate. It needs to be recognised and treated with the importance it deserves and that is why I wholeheartedly support National Stalking Awareness Week, which helps to shine a light on the destructive impact that stalking has on its victims. It also provides an opportunity for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), the police and other victim-focused organisations to scrutinize the services they provide, look at how improvements can be made and promote some of the positive work that is currently being undertaken.
“Many PCCs have made improvements in how police forces deal with reports of stalking and where they need to improve by commissioning external inspections as well as providing adequate training and development to all officers, irrespective of their seniority. But there is still more to be done and PCCs, through their Police and Crime Plans, must ensure that sufficient measures are in place to tackle stalking and harassment in all its forms.”
APCC Deputy Victims Lead, Julia Mulligan PCC said:
“Stalking is a crime. It destroys and steals lives. PCCs must ensure that when victims have the courage to come forward to the police that they will be listened to, have their report taken seriously and offered the right specialist support service to access locally.
“There is undoubtedly some excellent work going on in this area, but it is sporadic, with many police forces still not responding in the way they should due to a lack of understanding and training. Improvements need to be made and this is where PCCs can add real value and make a difference to victims of stalking.”