We are supporting National Stalking Awareness Week in order to publicise the seriousness of this crime and support systems available to those at risk.
Along with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), we are encouraging the Merseyside public to become familiar with ‘The Silent Solution’ system; a system in place which alerts police if you are in imminent danger but unable to speak.
This enables a 999 mobile caller who is too scared to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted – to inform police they are in a genuine emergency.
The system, although well-established in the UK, is only effective if the public know and understand how it works.
Detective Superintendent Richie Salter said: “Stalking is a pattern of unwanted, fixated and obsessive behaviour which is intrusive and can cause fear, distress or even violence.
“To support this year’s awareness week, we are aiming to improve our early identification of stalking and the number of crimes recorded, which will ultimately lead to quality investigations and improved outcomes for victims.
“We must ensure we look at every report of harassment and consider whether it is actually stalking, so that we are capturing all stalking crimes thoroughly and responding appropriately.
“Supporting victims and vulnerable people is a major priority, but to achieve this we must educate our officers to spot the signs of stalking – therefore, going forward, the annual training of all operational officers will include an awareness and understanding of stalking, they are also being equipped with the knowledge and tools to understand the key issues around stalking, warning signs and helpline details of national support groups which can be provided to victims.
“Stalking comes in many forms and can be mentally and emotionally draining, as well as physically dangerous. If you want more information, please follow #StalkingStealsLives – together, we can do our part to reduce this harmful and damaging offence.”
For more information, visit the IOPC website to learn more about the ‘Make Yourself Heard’ campaign.
A PDF of Make Yourself Heard 'How to Guide' is attached