For many people, the first realisation they may be being stalked can cause fear and anxiety. However EJM Investigations have put together a guide to help the victim take back control. Our private detectives have assisted in cases of stalking and have put together 10 tips to help you deal with a stalker.
1) Assert to the stalker that you are not interested. If you feel you are being stalked, or are getting unwanted attention from someone, the first thing you should do is make it clear you are not interested. Don’t offer reasons or excuses as a stalker may then start working to get around those, in the belief they will then have your interest. Be polite but firm. Maybe have a friend with you for safety. If you need to, do it in public, but be discreet so as not to embarrass the person. Try not to get angry or emotional. After this point you shouldn’t have any more contact with the person, as they may convince themselves it is because you are actually interested. Even further attempts to tell them you are not, may be misconstrued in their mind.
2) Distance yourself from the person. Where possible make moves to avoid contact with this person. Even if it just feels like someone is a little overfamiliar, changing the place you go for coffee, or the pub you use may end the stalking. If the person also makes the same change then this could be used as further evidence they are stalking you.
3) Inform Friends. This means friends can look out for you. Even if the stalker is not intending you any harm, it can still be a frightening experience. The support of friends can help you feel safe.
4) Call The Police. Some people may feel silly calling the police just because someone sends them a lot of flowers, or always appears in the same place. However it is important to have any potential stalking on record as early as possible. It may be the police cannot act early on due to lack of evidence, or it may be that a quiet word from an officer will stop the stalker. Regardless of how you want matters dealt with the important thing is the police can give you a log number, and you can add further incidents to the log as they happen.
5) Don’t Be Alone. If the stalking escalates or potentially could escalate, then start to have a friend or colleague around as much as you can. Avoid any potential situation where the stalker may approach you on your own. Try and stay in public places. Invest in a personal attack alarm and always be aware of your surroundings.
6) Secure your property. This is not a point to promote fear, but merely a precaution that could be invaluable should matters escalate. There are many independent security companies who can advise you on this. As well as local police community teams who can visit and advise on home security. Get a burglar alarm. Consider double glazed windows as they are tougher than single panes. Get locks fitted to the window latches and keep the keys hidden. Ensure any external doors are solid, and fitted with a deadlock. Have a chain fitted and a view hole to ensure you know who is at the door before granting access. Make sure your letterbox is at least 40cm from the lock and don’t leave keys where they could be retrieved with a hook/cane. There are also a lot of cost effective CCTV solutions available for home use.
7) Change your routine. Think about what changes can be made to your routine. If you can change times of the things you do then consider doing it. Try changing the routes you take. If a stalker knows where you will be, and when then they have a place from which they can wait for you, whether that is for a “chance meeting” or something more sinister.
8) Gather evidence. Keep a diary of everything that happens, no matter how trivial. Log down dates/times and as much detail of the incident as you can. If you have a witness then take their details. Ask them to sign the diary at the relevant point to affirm what you are claiming happened. Log every incident with the police so there is also an official record. Consider CCTV at home and ensure it is time and date stamped. Consider a covert camera and voice recorder, should the stalker confront you. Keep anything sent to you by the stalker, print off text messages. Make a log of any calls received.
9) Take out an injunction. If you have gathered some evidence of the stalking and know who the person is you can apply to court for a restraining order. This can prevent them from contacting you, instructing anyone else to contact you and also stop them being within a certain distance of anywhere you may be. This can be very useful in helping the police to help you, as they can then arrest the person merely for being at a place.
10) Move Away. It may seem unfair, that as a victim you have to move away from your friends/family/home. However your personal safety must be a priority, and in some extreme cases a move may be the only sure way of getting the stalking to stop.
If you feel you are a victim of stalking there are many places you can get help and support such as https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/crime-info/types-crime/stalking-and-harassment
If you require help or assistance you can call EJM Investigations on 01772 334700.
In an emergency or if you feel threatened always contact the police on 999.
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