Kent Police is supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of stalking.
The awareness event will run between Monday, April 16 and Friday, April 20 and aims to highlight the issue of stalking and the effect that it has on people.
Anyone who is a victim of this behaviour is urged to #ReportStalking. Police will fully investigate all reports and victims will be signposted to support networks that can help them rebuild their lives.
In a Thanet case a woman was left too scared to go to work alone after being repeatedly stalked by a man from Margate. The man received a 4-year sentence after appearing before Canterbury Crown Court.
Ricky Neville, 49, of Grosvenor Place, stalked his victim on three separate occasions outside the nursery she worked in.
The victim confirmed Neville’s identity to Kent Police during enquiries and he was charged. Neville who had not long been released from prison admitted to stalking and breaching a sexual offences prevention order, which he’d been given by the court following his previous conviction.
Among other things the order prevented him from being within 100 metres of children and in public parks, private gardens and church yards unsupervised.
Detective Chief Inspector Tracy Anstis, of Kent Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Stalking and harassment can have a devastating effect on victims’ lives and we remain focused and committed to helping people get justice and move forward.
“Stalking can include being followed or watched, repeatedly contacted on the phone or via social media and interfering with property.
“It can be incredibly frightening especially as stalking takes many forms and does not necessarily involve any physical contact.
“Kent Police takes stalking extremely seriously and would encourage anyone suffering this behaviour to report it to us. We work with a number of other organisations to offer support to victims so they can feel safe again.’
Help is at hand
Further information is available on the Kent Police website https://www.kent.police.uk/advice/bullying-harassment-and-stalking
If anyone has concerns about stalking they can contact the Suzy Lamplugh Trust stalking helpline on 0808 802 0300 or seek advice at their website http://www.stalkinghelpline.org