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

Strategy for Managing Stalking - Guidance

NHSGGC uses the following strategy to help support staff who are being stalked and

  • Promote the law and people’s lawful rights in relation to Stalking
  • Identify, record & report incidents of Stalking
  • Implement best practice in managing/reducing 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

 

1). Promote the law and people lawful rights in relation to Stalking

The Criminal Justice & Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 makes any form or stalking a criminal offence. This can include, seemingly, harmless and subtle behaviours.

For example, a text message saying ‘you looked nice when I saw you earlier’ seems trivial, but if it is intended to cause fear and alarm (or the perpetrator should have known that it would) and it happens, at least, twice, then it can be classified as stalking and becomes a criminal offence.

(Please note – if this only happens once, it would not be counted as a stalking offence, at that stage. Instead, it would be counted as an incident of abuse and harassment under the Criminal Justice & Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010) and you wold still be within your rights to report it to the police).

You always have a lawful right to report incidents of stalking (and abuse & harassment) to the Police. This is always the case, irrespective of the alleged perpetrators, personal circumstances, or other people’s opinions.

You can report any incident of stalking to the police, online, or you can contact them on 101, or 999, in the case of an emergency.

The following links can provide you with more information about your lawful rights:

Scottish Government    

Scottish Women’s Rights Centre


NHSGGC's Staff Witness Support Service can also provide support & information to any member of staff who may need to go to court

 

2). Identify, record & report incidents of Stalking

This is also called ‘building a case’. In order to do this, it is essential that you record any and all incidents where you believe a stalking incident has occurred – no matter how, seemingly, insignificant the incident may be. To do this you should keep a safe record of the following details:

  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • What happened?
  • Who was it?
  • What details do you have about the person?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • Were there any witnesses?
  • What did they see?
  • What did you do after?
  • Do you have any video, photo, screenshot evidence?

NB - If you are a woman aged 18 years or above, the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre have developed the following app: ‘FollowItApp’
This app can be used to help you record any relevant details, safely and securely. It has been designed in collaboration with The Crown Prosecution Service, Police Scotland and other stakeholders including Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid, to ensure that it meets the needs of women who are being stalked and that it is compliant with Scot's Law.   

In addition the Suzy Lampugh Trust, also provides guidance, resources and apps that can help anyone record any relevant details of stalking incidents. Information about personal safety apps can be found in their 'Help & Advice' section

It is then essential that you report these incidents to the Police either online, via 101 or 999 (in the case if an emergency)

If incidents occur within NHS property, or is associated with your work, you should also complete a Datix incident report.

 

  3). Implement best practice in managing/reduce cyber/online Stalking 
Cyberstalking can be very traumatic and can has severe repercussions on those who experience it. It is essential that you take, immediate steps to secure your online identity and accounts. As a well as taking the steps outlined here, you should also refer to our Online & CyberStalking Resources page for advice.

 

4). Promote and adopt safety strategies
If you are being stalked, it is vital that you take steps to promote your safety. Unfortunately, these can sometimes can significant effects on your daily life & routines, but they may be needed to ensure your safety. As well as the measures already outlined here e.g. recording & reporting incidents, contacting the police and protecting your online identity you may need to consider the following: Change your daily routine Inform people you trust of your concerns Record and report incidents to the Police Change your online passwords and use a password manager to protect them Take advice from specialist services

Additionally, line managers may need to adopt flexible work patterns and arrangements for any staff member(s) who are being stalked this could include, altering the staff members start and finish times, moving them a more secure work base & giving them access to additional technology (mobile phones, alarms, Reliance devices)

This must always involve the person who is being stalked and they MUST be central to the decision making process.

 

5). Provide signposting to NHSGGC services that support those exposed to Stalking

NHSGGC has a number of different services who can offer support to you if you believe you are being stalked. These are:

The Occupational Health Service

The Health & Safety Service

The Health & Safety Violence Reduction Service

The Equality & Human Rights Team

The Staff Witness Support Service (for employees who may be required to attend court)

 

6). Provide signposting to Police Scotland and Third Sector organisations who specialise in supporting those who are exposed to Stalking 

As a part of NHSGGC’s commitment to supporting our staff who are being stalked, we want to establish better relationships with Police Scotland and other Third Sector organisations that specialise in supporting those affected by stalking. Part of that includes providing you with a route to access to those services. The list below are public and voluntary bodies that can provide you with expert support and guidance:

Police Scotland

The National Stalking Helpline  

Victim Support Scotland

Scottish Women's Rights Centre

Rape Crisis Scotland

Scottish Women's Aid

Last Updated: 14 July 2020