Hertfordshire police take part in National Stalking Awareness Day

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Victims of stalking are being encouraged to come forward as part of National Stalking Awareness Day, which takes place today.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has been addressing the issue throughout the week, with a focus on stalking at work.

This is where victims are targeted at their workplace with the perpetrator either waiting for them or contacting them via telephone, e-mail or sending mail while they are at their work address.

Acting detective superintendent Geoff Camp, from the county community safety unit, said: "Stalking is a terrifying crime which has a major impact on victims.

"It can create fear, paranoia and victims will often feel violated and distressed.

"We fully support anything that can raise awareness of this crime, which can be so subtle to begin with but unfortunately can lead to something more sinister.

"The key to protecting victims and alleviating the fear and harm is through people having the knowledge of what stalking is and what to do about it."

And Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: "No one should have to suffer the distress or the physical or psychological harm caused by being the victim of a stalker.

"The message is simple - if you are being harassed or stalked while you’re at home, at the office, online or indeed anywhere else, then please don’t suffer in silence because there are people and organisations here that can help you."

According to the 2012/13 Crime Survey for England and Wales, after the age of 16, stalking affects four per cent of women and two per cent of men.

On average victims will suffer 100 incidents before they report it, with 21 people connected to the victim also affected.

David Lloyd, police and crime commissioner, said: "No one should have to suffer the distress or the physical or psychological harm caused by being the victim of a stalker.

"The message is simple - if you are being harassed or stalked while you’re at home, at the office, online or indeed anywhere else, then please don’t suffer in silence because there are people and organisations here that can help you."

If you have been affected by stalking, contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 or e-mail advice@stalkinghelpline.org.

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