Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
1. How many cases of stalking were recorded by your police force
a. 1st January 2016 – 31st December 2016
b. 1st January 2017 – 31st December 2017
2. Of these cases, how many of the named suspects had previously been named in reports of stalking against:?
a. The same victim?
a. Multiple victims
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
Data for question 1 was collated through a search of crimes created between 01/01/2016 and 31/12/2017 for the below offences;
008/56 Racially or religiously aggravated harassment or stalking without violence
008/58 Racially or religiously aggravated harassment or stalking
008/65 Stalking involving fear of violence
008/66 Stalking involving serious alarm/distress
195/12 Stalking without fear / alarm / distress
For question 2, suspects named in crimes during the above period for the above offences were collated. Those named more than once were reviewed to determine if the victims recorded on each crime were the same or different. Importantly the suspects that have been included are those who have been named more than once in the above time period. If they have been named in another stalking investigation prior to 01/01/2016 or after 31/12/2017 these will not be included as repeat offenders.
Additionally to note, with regards to the figures provided for this request. It was nationally recognised by HMIC ‘Living in Fear’ review that police forces and CPS struggled to differentiate between harassment and stalking and that the definition of stalking was unclear. Northumbria has implemented a lot of work to better understand and record offences. It is not that stalking is on the increase, just offences were being classed as harassment rather than stalking which has now been rectified, hence the increase.
With the above in mind, please find the information relative to your request below.
Year No. of Crimes