The 24th April saw the 4th annual National Stalking awareness Day held at the head office of City of London Police. The event was supported by over 100 people and was sponsored by Simpson Millar, solicitors and the SLT.
Harry Fletcher spoke at the meeting on behalf of Napo the probation and Family Court Trade Union. The topic was the role of Unions in protecting victims in the workplace. He used 4 case studies to illustrate the problems faced by victims where both Union and managers struggle to understand the issues.
The first involved a female Police Officer who was being threatened by an offender she was investigating. His earlier crimes were against women. The threats culminated in a desire to kill her. Managers at times saw her as the problem and referred her to occupational health. The case is still unresolved.
The second case study described 2 female employees being stalked and harassed by the same male member of staff. Some managers colluded with the abusers and did not support the victims.
In the third instance a male Police Officer received scores of email and texts of a suggestive nature from an unknown female. His force did not realise the serious nature of the behavior.
The forth saw a female probation officer being stalked and threatened by a male offender over many months. This involved visits, phone calls and in the end a threat to rape and kill. Managers did not call the Police but instead pushed the matter up the management chain.
A number of suggestions were made for better practice :
- In each case a victim risk assessment would have helped *Training for all staff into the nature of Stalking and harassment
- Refer to the Police if a crime may have been committed *Support for victims in the workplace
- Avoidance of victim blaming
- A recognition that some jobs may be most likely to attract obsessive behaviour The latest statistics on training and detections will be the subject of a briefing for the All Party Group on Stalking chaired by Elfyn Llwyd MP who also spoke at the event.