Stalking and harassment is when someone repeatedly behaves in a way that makes you feel scared, distressed or threatened. If this unwanted behaviour happens two times or more, it may be a crime and you can report it to us.
If someone has behaved towards you in a way that's made you feel scared, distressed or threatened and it's happened once it could be antisocial behaviour, hate crime or another offence. Please report the incident to us.
Both stalking and harassment are offences under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. They're crimes we take very seriously and we're here for you if this is something you're experiencing.
Stalking and harassment are very similar offences. Don't worry if you're not sure whether you're being stalked or harassed. If you report it to us, just tell us what's been happening and we'll be able to explain if an offence has been committed and what that offence is.
Harassment may include:
sending abusive text messages or images
posting abusive messages on social media
neighbour disputes that involve abusive behaviour or damage to property
repeated antisocial behaviour
making unwanted or offensive phone calls
It's harassment if the unwanted behaviour has happened two times or more and made you feel distressed or threatened.
Stalking is a form of harassment, but the stalker will have an obsession with the person they're targeting and their repeated, unwanted behaviour can make the victim feel distressed or scared.
Stalking may include:
going uninvited to their home
hanging around somewhere they know the person often visits
watching or spying on someone
identity theft (signing-up to services, buying things in someone's name)
writing or posting online about someone if it's unwanted or the person doesn't know
It's stalking if the unwanted behaviour has happened two times or more and made you feel scared, distressed or threatened.
Online stalking or harassment
Online stalking or harassment is when someone monitors, stalks, harasses, threatens, controls or impersonates another person using the internet or other technology.
Online stalking or harassment may include:
monitoring someone’s internet use, email or other electronic communication
getting access to someone's email and social media accounts
spamming and sending viruses
stealing someone's identity
threatening to share private information, photographs, copies of messages
adding tracking software to someone's devices
It's online stalking or harassment if the unwanted behaviour has happened two times or more and made you feel scared, distressed or threatened.
The impact of stalking and harassment
The unwanted, repeated attention can have a serious impact on your physical or mental health, as well as your day-to-day life. Some people who have been stalked or harassed have had to make changes to their daily lives; some have changed jobs or moved house.