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Cornwall's stalking and harassment cases revealed

Cornwall's stalking and harassment cases revealed

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:35am 18th April 2019.

More than seven stalking and harassment cases are being reported in Cornwall every day.

Official figures show there were almost 2,700 cases in the Duchy in a year - between October 2017 and September 2018.

Such cases can involve following someone, repeatedly going uninvited to their home or monitoring their use of phones and computers.

Over the last five years, the number of recorded stalking and harassment cases has increased seven-fold in Cornwall.

The Home Office says police recording has improved and victims are feeling more empowered to come forward.

However, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services, the police watchdog, recently published a report stating that stalking and harassment are not being investigated by police consistently or effectively.

The watchdog has given the National Police Chiefs’ Council six months to adopt a series of recommendations.

"It is concerning that police forces are continuing to fall short when it comes to effectively handle stalking and harassment cases and give the appropriate level of support that survivors desperately need.

"It can be a matter of life or death that the police give the right response in stalking cases."

Lucy Hadley, campaigns and public affairs manager at Women’s Aid

She urged police leaders to invest in domestic abuse and stalking training.

Devon and Cornwall Police only brought charges in 5% of the stalking and harassment cases they investigated.

The force says more people are coming forward to report it.

"Stalking is a serious offence and one that Devon and Cornwall Police are committed to tackling.

"The increase in the number of reports may at first seem negative. However, it suggests that there is now greater awareness around what stalking is and that victims are more confident in coming forward to the police.

"April sees the launch of a stalking clinic in Cornwall. This will specifically look at stalking offences and the needs of the victims and offenders. It will be a multi-agency approach with many key partners from the Cornwall area taking part. The clinic will seek to ensure the 'victim voice' is clearly heard within the investigation and where required refer any needs to our partners.

"The victim care unit can also refer to support networks such as Suzy Lamplugh Trust as well as other support agencies.

"Prosecution of an offender is one of many possible outcomes, however, it is important to explore other routes with our partners to reduce the chances of reoffending."

DCI Stuart Cavin, Devon and Cornwall Police

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