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Home Breaking Twenty-four people were arrested as part of enforcement activity to mark National Stalking Awareness Week

Twenty-four people were arrested as part of enforcement activity to mark National Stalking Awareness Week

Suspects from across the county were brought into custody on suspicion of stalking, harassment and other linked offences including revenge porn, making threats to kill and breaches of court orders.

Officers from across Kent Police took part in the operation on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 April 2023 including community policing teams, divisional support units, the Rural Task Force and specialist domestic abuse officers.

National Stalking Awareness Week is run annually by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and aims to help people spot the signs of stalking behaviour and be aware of the support available.

In addition to the enforcement activity, Kent Police officers have also been carrying out welfare checks on vulnerable people and holding drop-in sessions for victims to meet with officers and representatives from other organisations for help and advice.

Detective Chief Superintendent Emma Banks, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People, said: ‘Stalking can have a devastating effect on victims’ lives and we remain focussed and committed to keeping people safe and bringing offenders to justice.

‘Stalking is one of a number of offences that disproportionately affect women and girls, which is why tackling it and other forms of violence are a priority for Kent Police. It is however important to remember that others can be victims too regardless of their gender and we take their welfare just as seriously, with the same support available to all.

‘One of the ways in which we safeguard victims is through the use of Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs), which allow us to proactively manage people displaying stalking behaviour regardless of whether or not a criminal prosecution is being pursued. We have been recognised nationally as being at the forefront in the use of SPOs, having obtained 112 since they came into force in February 2020 – the most of any force outside of London.

‘Victims of stalking or any other linked offences are encouraged to contact us so we can take steps to protect you and action against the person responsible. Help is available and you do not need to suffer in silence.’

Examples of stalking may include if you are being regularly followed, if someone is repeatedly attending your home uninvited or you are regularly receiving unwanted contact.

Report offences to Kent Police online at www.kent.police.uk/report or by calling 999 in an emergency. You can also call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 for further support and advice.

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