Over 20,500 stalking and harassment offences committed in South Yorkshire in just one year

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Stalking and harassment is on the rise in South Yorkshire, with the equivalent of 56 offences carried out in the county every single day.

Figures published by the Office of National Statistics show that South Yorkshire Police recorded a total of 20,527 offences of stalking and harassment in the year running from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

This compares with a total of 20,283 offences recorded in the year ending March 2022, representing a rise of six per cent.

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Over 20,500 stalking and harassment offences were recorded in South Yorkshire over the space of just one yearOver 20,500 stalking and harassment offences were recorded in South Yorkshire over the space of just one year
Over 20,500 stalking and harassment offences were recorded in South Yorkshire over the space of just one year | 3rd party

The number of offences recorded in South Yorkshire in the year ending March 2023, equates to the equivalent of 56 stalking and harassment offences being committed in the county every day.

Detective Chief Inspector Helen Lewis, South Yorkshire Police force lead for stalking and harassment, said: “The primary reason for the increase in recorded stalking and harassment offences across the last two years is down to a change in the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) guidelines. In addition, as recognised in the latest HMICFRS report, we are ‘good’ at recording crime data and ‘outstanding’ at protecting vulnerable people and preventing crime, meaning more people feel encouraged and empowered to come forward to report crime to us.

The number of offences recorded in South Yorkshire in the year ending March 2023, equates to the equivalent of 56 stalking and harassment offences being committed in the county every day.  The number of offences recorded in South Yorkshire in the year ending March 2023, equates to the equivalent of 56 stalking and harassment offences being committed in the county every day.
The number of offences recorded in South Yorkshire in the year ending March 2023, equates to the equivalent of 56 stalking and harassment offences being committed in the county every day. | 3rd party

Stalking and harassment can be defined as when someone repeatedly behaves in a way that makes you feel scared, distressed or threatened. There are different types of stalking and harassment and anyone can be a victim. Stalking and harassment are offences under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

The impact of stalking can be prolonged and significant. Earlier this week, The Star spoke to the victims of twisted Sheffield stalker, Steven Turner, who subjected the two women to years of distressing sexual phone calls, during which he would tell them he knew what they were wearing with a terrifying degree of accuracy.

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Commenting on the impact stalking and harassment can have on victims, DCI Lewis added: "Stalking and harassment are terrifying and upsetting crimes that unfortunately can affect anyone and cause victims to fear for their safety. It's important to understand that both stalking and harassment can take many forms – the conventional idea of someone physically following you or spying on you is only one facet of what are deeply sinister behaviours, which can include compulsive obsessive behaviours. 

DCI Lewis said stalking and harassment can comprise of 'threats, criminal damage, and unwanted social media contact'. She added: "You can be stalked or harassed by someone you know or it could be a complete stranger, and anyone can be a victim."DCI Lewis said stalking and harassment can comprise of 'threats, criminal damage, and unwanted social media contact'. She added: "You can be stalked or harassed by someone you know or it could be a complete stranger, and anyone can be a victim."
DCI Lewis said stalking and harassment can comprise of 'threats, criminal damage, and unwanted social media contact'. She added: "You can be stalked or harassed by someone you know or it could be a complete stranger, and anyone can be a victim." | 3rd party

"This can comprise threats, criminal damage, and unwanted social media contact. You can be stalked or harassed by someone you know or it could be a complete stranger, and anyone can be a victim.

 “We work hard alongside national organisations like the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to raise awareness of what stalking is and what help is available. Our officers and staff are here to support victims of stalking and harassment and we will do whatever we can to help those suffering, to identify those committing such crimes and to protect victims from harm. More information and resources are available on our website - https://www.southyorks.police.uk/find-out/crime-prevention-advice/stalking-and-harassment/."

In Yorkshire, the number of stalking and harassment offences recorded in the year ending March 2023 also rose by six per cent, to a total of 95,537.

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The percentage rise seen in South Yorkshire, and Yorkshire, falls below that seen across the whole of England, where there was a nine per cent increase in stalking and harassment offences recorded during the same period.