The Hampshire Police Stalking Clinic has once again been identified as best practice by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
The Hampshire clinic is praised throughout their report ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ – published to coincide with National Stalking Awareness Week (16-22 April 2018).
Hampshire’s multi-agency stalking clinic, commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner, reviews cases of stalking as they are reported. Police, Probation, the CPS, Southern Health’s mental health professionals and, vitally, a dedicated victim advocate all work together each month to review the highest risk cases and ensure everything possible is being done to stop the behaviour and keep the victim safe.
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ specifically refers to the training of police officers and staff as this was identified as a potential weakness for some forces, in recognising and recording stalking cases. In Hampshire, a specialist victim advocate and a detective inspector deliver joint training to police officers.
Stalking service manager for Aurora New Dawn, Lucy Kay, said: “This joined up approach to training facilitates understanding in the audience. We have seen an increase in referrals to the stalking clinic since undertaking the training. Between 15 January and 14 March this year, 208 referrals were made to the Hampshire Stalking Clinic.”
Hampshire Constabulary Detective Chief Inspector Suzette Allcorn said: “Stalking is a crime of persistence, characterised by fixation and obsession. It is a unique, isolating and distressing crime, and the unrelenting behaviour can have a devastating effect on those who experience it. We will continue to work hard with partners through Hampshire’s multi-agency Stalking Clinic to ensure everything is being done to stop the behaviour and protect victims.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane, is one of only seven PCCs nationally to commission specialist support for stalking victims. He said: “I am very pleased that the Hampshire Stalking Clinic, which I fund, has once again been recognised as best practice. The clinic is an excellent example of a partnership approach to tackling a crime that can leave victims feeling particularly vulnerable and isolated.
“Stalking can impact on every aspect of the victim’s life including mental health, physical health, and their family and professional life. It is important therefore that the right specialist support is available to meet their emotional and practical needs.”