Joined up approach crucial for protecting victims, says Egan, marking National Stalking Awareness Week

Alliance North Down MLA and Executive Office spokesperson Connie Egan, in recognition of National Stalking Awareness Week, has expressed concern at recently released statistics from the PSNI detailing the number of stalking arrests made, and said that a joined-up approach is needed to protect victims.

Connie Egan Violence Against Women and Girls

The theme for National Stalking Awareness Week 2024 is 'Join Forces Against Stalking,' and is running from 22 April-26 April.


Ms Egan has said: “Stalking can be incredibly damaging to victims, both psychologically and physically, and can consist of fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repetitive behaviours towards the victim. Nobody deserves to feel unsafe, and there is absolutely no justification for this kind of behaviour.


“The news that 312 alleged stalkers have been arrested in Northern Ireland over the last two years will be a cause of serious concern for many in the community, but I would also like to thank the PSNI for the action they have taken to respond to each allegation made in these 312 instances.


“A joined-up approach across different agencies and sectors is crucial for ensuring that all victims of stalking receive the help and support they need in as timely a manner as possible.


“Stalking behaviour can be terrifying and traumatic for those who are made a victim of it. It is so important that this is now a specific offence thanks to legislation introduced by my party colleague, Naomi Long MLA in her tenure as Justice Minister. Stalking protection orders came into effect in 2023, and I hope they will not only give victims legal protection and some peace of mind, but also increased confidence in the justice system.


“If you or a loved one may be a victim of stalking, please report to the police via 101 or call 999 in an emergency. You can also receive further support through the National Stalking Helpline through 0808 8020300 , who provide practical advice and support to those who are currently or have previously experienced stalking or harassment.”