Stalking – Murder in Slow Motion

Stalking has been referred to as murder in slow motion due to the devastating impact this crime can have on someone’s life.

Whilst we may envisage that it is only celebrities and the rich and famous that would be a target of stalking, this is far from the case. In fact, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will be stalked during their lifetime.

The methods and practices utilised by stalkers to monitor victims are also much broader than some might think. Where historically we may have considered stalking to involve someone being followed or unwanted calls or messages, it is now much more advanced, in line with technological advances. Reports have actually been made of spyware and tracking devices being used on some people’s IT systems, tablets and phones, even cars.

The psychological trauma of such an invasion of privacy caused by stalking can be harrowing for victims. Many victims receive threats of violence from their stalker with some cases leading to actual violence and sadly fatalities.

Hannah Dowling, Personal Injury and CICA Paralegal recalls

“Stalking not only impacts victims during the period of the crime but often long after.

We have worked with clients where the psychological impact of stalking and the violation of privacy resulted in long term anxiety and lack of trust. Sometimes this caused a change in behaviour of the victim – including the breakdown of relationships with family and friends and anxiety in all aspects of their life including careers”.

What action is being taken?

Stalking can involve a number of individually minor incidents which might, at first, appear to be of limited harm. It is only when the ‘bigger picture’ of these instances are considered together that the full extent of the issue is realised.

Cheshire Police in partnership with The Suzy Lamplugh Trust have recently established an ‘Anti-Stalking Unit’ to understand the behaviours and motivation that drives people to commit these crimes. It expected that by sharing information in this way, more can be learnt about stalking methods, what drives people, to do it and to help support victims. Tagging offenders was one suggestion recently mooted so that victims would know where the perpetrators are.

It is promising to see that the unit implemented in Cheshire fits in with a wider measure that has been introduced by The Crown Prosecution System and National Police Chiefs’ Council which is centred on providing greater direction to Police and Prosecutors in relation to stalking, harassment and the action to be taken.

It is possible to claim compensation if you have been stalked – from the person who has stalked you (if they have the ability to pay). Another option is to make a claim with us to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme however, the CICA will only make a payment to you if you have been physically harmed or if you have received threats of harm from the other person. You have to be willing to help the police and the CPS to prosecute the person too. This can seem like an ordeal but compensation could help you to pay for private treatment to over come what has happened, help you to move away,  maybe make up for lost earnings and the harm that has been done to you.

If you would like to speak to a member of the specialised CICA team at Price Slater Gawne regarding your claim, please contact us, in complete confidence on 0161 615 5554.  All initial consultations are free and all of our CICA cases are taken on a “no win no fee” basis.