A non-domestic stalking service is being revamped to help provide the best possible support for victims in Nottinghamshire.
Anyone experiencing stalking will be helped to assess the risk and create a bespoke safety plan, as well as receiving support in reporting the issue to the Police.
The Nottinghamshire Stalking Advocacy Service aims to provide high quality assistance to male and female survivors of non-domestic stalking who are aged 16 or above and live in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
It will also work alongside Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire Childrens social care and Nottinghamshire Police to support younger victims of non-domestic stalking as required.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire has moved to ensure the service is protected for the future by commissioning a new contract which delivers an enhanced and more streamlined offer until March 2026.
The provider will also be expected to maintain and manage a small ringfenced budget to support the purchase of safety items such as personal safety alarms, camera doorbells, passive infrared lights, window alarms, window and door locks, as well as wifi or solar powered CCTV passive infrared cameras.
These will be provided on the basis of victims’ prioritised need. Support and training from Nottinghamshire Police will be provided during the mobilisation period to support the provider with this activity.
Specialist support provider Nottingham Women’s Aid has been awarded the contract as lead providers and will subcontract to fellow experts Juno Women’s Aid and Equation, with the new contract set to go live in October.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “Stalking is a crime we take very seriously and I have seen first-hand how incredibly damaging it can be to victims.
“This revamped service shows the level of commitment we have to tackle stalking here in Nottinghamshire, and it will provide excellent support for those in need.
“Our partners are experts in responding to trauma as well as finding ways in which victims can recover and move forward with their lives.”
Stalking is a crime in England and Wales under the Protection from Harassment Act 2007. It is described as a pattern of unwanted and persistent behaviour that is motivated by a fixation or obsession that causes a victim to suffer alarm, distress or fear of violence.
It is illegal for a person to pursue a course of conduct that they know or ought to know amounts to stalking. A course of conduct refers to two or more incidents of unwanted behaviour.
Harassment can include some of the same behaviour as stalking and causes a victim fear and distress. Stalking is differentiated from harassment by the motivation of the stalker.
Head of services at Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid, Mandy Green, said: “We are really pleased to have secured this contract and work across Nottinghamshire with our partners Juno, Equation and other professionals to make it safer for individuals who experience non-domestic abuse stalking behaviours.”
Nottinghamshire Police recorded 11,258 stalking and harassment offences in the 12 months ending October 2022, which is a 7.5% increase from the pre-pandemic period (2019/20), although only a slight increase from the previous year (+1.7%).
Around 31% of stalking offences were domestic related in Nottinghamshire, with work continuing locally to improve understanding and identification of these crimes.
You can find out more about the service by heading to: Non Domestic Abuse Stalking Advisory Service - Nottinghamshire Women's Aid (nottswa.org)
Posted on Monday 21st August 2023