How To Deal With Stalking and Harassment
Let us clarify exactly what is meant by harassment, so that both men and women know where they stand. Firstly, it isn’t always women who need protection from men. There are numerous instances on record where men genuinely have been at the mercy of a ‘stalker’. Secondly, it doesn’t take much to commit an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
Anyone who causes alarm, distress or torment by sending text messages on a mobile, by email, telephone, or face-to-face has committed an offence.
The first time is an offence and if the police are contacted, the complainant will be interviewed and the complaint logged. The offender will be warned and a record made on the local harassment file.
If a second complaint is made to the police within a reasonably short period, it is classed as a further offence and the offender may be arrested and cautioned. If the complaint is taken up by the Courts, bail conditions and a possible restraining order may be applied.
If you are being harassed or stalked, log any incident, keep a note of the contents, messages, time, date and nature of the incident, words, etc., phone numbers and any other details.
Log the complaint at your police station. If the offender lives some distance away, they will pass the complaint to the nearest police station to the offender. If you don’t have a mobile number or email address, you must have some idea of the area in which the offender lives, or the police will be unable to help.
Keep any information you might have on the offender.
Being the victim of harassment or the attentions of a stalker is un-nerving and frightening for anyone, and we should not be afraid of reporting the matter to the police. It may be the result of attraction, and we may feel sorry for the person giving us trouble but the reason that these matters go on unchecked is because the victims are reluctant to involve the police.