Stalking incidents increase during pandemic

There has been a “significant increase” in stalking offences during the pandemic in England and Wales, according to the UK police lead for stalking.

More than 80,000 stalking crimes occurred last year but BBC News freedom of information requests indicate that arrests of offenders grew at half the rate of an increase in stalking incidents.

In a statement, the Home Office said: “Protecting women and girls from violence and abuse is an absolute priority for the Government and we are taking action across the whole system to tackle these horrendous crimes”.

Chris has been stalked for six years. The Metropolitan Police said a man was arrested at his home address last year and subsequently bailed..

In a statement, it said: “Since October 2020 a dedicated officer has progressed the investigation. The victim has been supported and updated throughout this investigation by the officer”.

Chris says she is not aware of an arrest relating to her experience and disputes that she has been provided with a dedicated officer.

Correspondent: Ed Thomas

Producer: Noel Titheradge

Camera and Editor: Adam Walker

If you’ve been affected by any issues in this story, you can find support at BBC Action Line.

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