Obsessed Luton man stalked woman for 5 months - despite 'not even knowing her name'
Victims of stalking are being urged to report predatory behaviour during Stalking Awareness Week.
A man from Luton was issued with the first Stalking Protection Order (SPO) in February, after bombarding a woman with visits outside her home over a five month period.
He had developed a fixation for the victim, despite "not even knowing her name" according to Bedfordshire Police.
In August last year, he called police - saying he was concerned for the woman’s welfare and that she wasn’t picking up the phone.
When officers attended, his behaviour aroused suspicion and the woman confirmed she was safe; and that the man had been continuously contacting her against her wishes.
He was issued with the SPO for a period of ten years. Breaching this order can result in arrest and imprisonment. And an SPO is a means of early police intervention to address stalking behaviour before it escalates.
Detective Inspector Katherine Rivers said: “This is Bedfordshire Police’s first Stalking Protection Order (SPO) since the legislation came into effect last year and provides interim protection for anyone who believes they are being targeted by stalking behaviour.
“Such obsessive and often disturbing behaviour can have an extremely negative impact on the victim and result with severe, long lasting trauma.
“Stalking in particular is linked to some of the highest harm crimes, including domestic abuse, sexual offences, and even murder and it is vital we take steps to halt offender actions and protect victims.”
The mnemonic FOUR - Fixated, Obsessive, Unwanted, Repeated - describes stalking behaviour and this contact can be in person, by gifts, or via social media, email or messaging apps.
To report stalking, call police on 101. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999.
Or for advice and support, you can call the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300, or speak with Paladin, the National Stalking Advocacy on 0203 866 4107.