22/04/2024

312 Alleged Stalkers Arrested Since April 2022

A total of 312 alleged stalkers have been arrested in Northern Ireland, with 150 facing being charged, since the introduction of new legislation in April 2022.

As part of National Stalking Awareness Week, which begins today, (Monday 22 April) the PSNI has published updated arrest and Stalking Protection Order figures to showcase the successes over the last two years and encourage more victims to come forward.

Detective Superintendent Lindsay Fisher from the Service's Public Protection Branch said: "We are asking the public to not ignore the red flags. If someone's behaviour towards you is fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated, this is stalking.

"I think many people when they hear the word ‘stalking' will think of someone lurking in the shadows. Stalking can actually take many forms and can be online as well as in person and could be someone known to you or a complete stranger.

"It is an insidious crime that takes over and destroys lives. Statistics show that people will suffer up to 100 incidents before reporting to Police. It often results in fear, trauma and a reduction in the victim's quality of life, in some tragic cases it has resulted in murder.
News Image
"Stalking is a crime, which will not be tolerated or accepted within our communities. Thousands of our officers and staff have now been trained to recognise and respond to these crimes and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to bring offenders to justice.

"We are making weekly arrests and the Stalking Protection Orders are allowing our officers to take swift and decisive action, putting restrictions in place and enforcing breaches, treating them as criminal offences."

The Police Service of Northern Ireland have outlined stalking and harassment behaviours to look out for on their website here.

Red flags of a stalker may include:

• Regularly following someone and tracking their movements

• Repeatedly going uninvited to their home or workplace

• Checking someone's internet use, email or other communications

• Hanging around somewhere they know the person often visits

•Interfering with their property

•Watching or spying on someone

•Identity theft (buying things in someone's name)

If you are experiencing any of the above or worried about a loved one who may be being stalking - report to the Police via 101 or call 999 in an emergency.

There is also other help and support available to you:

National Stalking Helpline

Practical advice and information to anyone who is currently or previously has been affected by harassment or stalking.

Phone: 0808 8020300

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

22 May 2024
Second Man Arrested In Ongoing L'Derry Operation
Police in L'Derry have made a second arrest in an ongoing operation investigating activities of the New IRA. This investigation, which involved a public safety operation in the city last night, Tuesday 21 May, resulted in the recovery of a firearm - an AK-47 variant - and a quantity of ammunition from a vehicle that was stopped at around 6.45pm.
26 February 2024
Man Wanted On Murder Charge In Spain Arrested In Craigavon
A 22-year-old man wanted in Spain in connection with a murder investigation has been arrested in Craigavon. Officers from the PSNI's International Policing Unit and Lurgan Local Policing Team worked with the National Crime Agency and Spanish authorities to track the wanted person down to an address in the Craigavon area on Friday 23rd February.
26 February 2024
New Campaign To Promote Rights Of Victims And Witnesses
A new public awareness campaign to promote the rights of victims and witnesses has been announced by Justice Minister Naomi Long in partnership with the Commissioner Designate for Victims of Crime, Geraldine Hanna.
22 February 2024
Man Arrested In Connection With 1992 Police Officer Murder
A 59-year-old man has been arrested at Birmingham Airport in connection with a fatal mortar attack in Newry in 1992. The man was arrested on Wednesday, 21 February by detectives from PSNI's Legacy Investigation Branch, investigating the murder of Constable Colleen McMurray and the attempted murder of her colleague in 1992.
21 February 2024
Man Wanted In Hungary Arrested In North Belfast
A 66-year-old man man wanted in Hungary for robbery offences has been arrested in North Belfast. Officers from Tennent Street Local Policing Team made the arrest on the evening of Tuesday, 20 February, on behalf of the PSNI's International Policing Unit.