Stalking isn't like it is in the movies - West Midlands Police say as new film released - The Solihull Observer

Stalking isn't like it is in the movies - West Midlands Police say as new film released

Solihull Editorial 22nd Apr, 2024   0

A NEW film has been launched to highlight the different forms stalking.

West Midlands Police released the film to mark National Stalking Awareness Week, which runs until March 27, to raise awareness and empower victims to recognise the signs and seek help.

In movies, the ‘persistent’ love interest keeps showing up and somehow ends up knowing another’s every move, and magically wins their heart.

But the force say it’s time to ditch this dangerous narrative.

West Midlands Police say life isn’t like the movies. Stalking and harassment are serious crimes which can have a devastating effect on the lives of victims and their friends and family.

And its new film takes a different approach – it portrays stalking for what it truly is – unwanted, repeated behaviour that leaves victims feeling constantly anxious and scared.

Anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation, can be a victim of stalking.

West Midlands Police say stalking follows the pattern of FOUR – fixated, obsessed, unwanted and repeated.

The behaviours can be offline such as visiting the victim’s home or place of work, following the victim or leaving gifts, or online such as unwanted social media communication, calls, texts, emails, hacking and spyware.

Detective Inspector Andrew McHugh from the Early Awareness Stalking Intervention programme (EASI) said: “Stalking isn’t a love story, it can ruin people’s lives. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, and the anonymity of the online world can make it even more terrifying.

“It’s not grand gestures, but relentless intrusion, both physical and virtual, that erodes a person’s sense of security.

“Unwanted attention, repeated harassment – these aren’t compliments or flattery. It leaves victims feeling trapped, not swept off their feet as the movies often portray it.

“We are working closely with partners to review how we can improve our response to stalking, including the ability to work across agencies to better identify offences, manage offenders, safeguard victims and progress investigations.

“We would encourage anyone who thinks they are being stalked to report it to police straightaway, if you are in immediate danger call 999, otherwise you can report online through our live chat facility or by calling 101.

“If you are not ready to speak to police, please reach out for support from the National Stalking Helpline.”


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