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Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Stalking

Stalking is a very serious and particularly, insidious, crime. Also, unlike other crimes which are, typically ‘one-of’ events, it can persist over time (anything from weeks, to months and even years).

In line with the Criminal Justice & Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, Police Scotland define Stalking as:

“A (Stalking) offence occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct on at least two separate occasions, which causes another person to feel fear or alarm, where the accused person intended, or knew or ought to have known, that their conduct would cause fear and alarm.”

This means that every-day, seemingly lawful actions such as sending text or email, making phone-calls, posting messages on social media sites or sending private messages can become a Stalking offence if they occur twice or more and if the perpetrator knew, or ought to have known that their actions would cause fear and alarm.   

The following are some examples of Stalking behaviours:

  • Sending unwated letters or cards
  • Sending unwanted emails, texts of social media posts
  • Making unwanted phone calls
  • Delivering unwanted gifts to a workplace or home
  • Waiting outside someone's home or workplace
  • Following someone or spying on them
  • Sharing intimate pictures of someone, without their consent e.g. via text, on a web/social media site
  • Posting information, publically about someone on web/social media sites
  • Making public accusations
  • Making threats

It is estimated that Stalking affects approximately 1.5 million people each year.
It affects approximately 1 in 5 women & 1 in 12 men at some point in thier lifetimes & it can be deeply distressing to those who experience it, inflicting various physically, psychologically, emotionally & socially traumatic and damaging effects.

Please see our Physical, Psychological and Social Effects of Stalking section for more informtion 

Stalking can also be a form of Domestic Abuse. Those experiencing stalking, may also be exposed to other forms of Domestc Abuse too. please see our Protection from Abuse resoures for more support & guidance. 

Despite its prevelance and the harm it can cause, Stalking is a crime that is often not reported to the police.

It is believed that people don't report due to to three main factors:

  • People who experience Stalking are unaware that they can get help
  • People who experience Stalking do not have the confidence to come forward to the Police
  • When it is reported, historically, authority figures, do not fully realise that they are dealing with a Stalking crime and have dismissed the report 

NHSGGC wants all of it employees to know that we take safety and well-being of our staff extremely seriously and will offer all relevant support to staff who are being, or believe they are being stalked.

Wherever an employee is being stalked, or believes that they are being stalked, we want to support them to report this to the Police as soon as possible.

You can do this online to Police Scotland

You can also call the Police on 101 (or 999, in the event of an emergency)

Alternatively, you can also visit your local Police station to speak to an officer in person.

As well as contacting the Police, we encourage any member of staff, who believes they are being stalked, to contact the Occupational Health Service and the Health & Safety Service for advice, gudance and support.

As well as the Police, NHSGGC also reccomend that following agencies be contacted, as they can provide specialist support to those who are being stalked:

The Suzy Lampugh Trust - (National Stalking Helpline)

Scottish Women's Aid

Action Against Stalking

Victim Support Scotland

Scottish Women's Rights Centre

Rape Crisis Scotland

Finally, NHSGGC has developed the following strategy to help reduce risks and properly support our staff who are experiencing stalking:

  • Promote the law and people’s lawful rights in relation to Stalking
  • Identify & report incidents of Stalking
  • Implement best practice in managing/reduce cyber/online Stalking 
  • Promote and adopt safety strategies
  • Provide signposting to NHSGGC services to support those exposed to Stalking 
  • Provide signposting to Police Scotland and Third Sector organisations who specialise in supporting those who are exposed to Stalking

The links below are designed to help enact this strategy & provide you with support and guidance to help you or your colleagues in relation to stalking