From 22 April you will hear advertisements on the Greatest Hits digital radio network in Dorset which raise awareness of the “F.O.U.R.” mnemonic which you can use to identify stalking.

Stalking is a pattern of Fixated, Obsessed, Unwanted and Repeated behaviour that can escalate to leave you feeling anxious or distressed, even though on their own the actions may seem insignificant.

You should record what’s happened and report it before it escalates. You don’t have to be threatened with violence to be a victim of stalking.

The campaign also features a video, filmed in the style of a trailer for a romantic comedy film or “romcom”, which warns against normalising what at first appear to be insignificant acts. In the video these seemingly small, seemingly harmless gestures escalate to something far more sinister…because life isn’t like the movies. You can watch and share the video from the Dorset Police You Tube channel at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mlOZqbTIik&t=17s  

The video link will be further promoted on the Greatest Hits digital network.

Detective Chief Inspector Helen Deakin from the Dorset Police Public Protection Unit said: “We hope that our video, online and radio campaign will provide some recognisable examples of stalking behaviours so that you, or the family or friends of someone who has an abusive ex-partner, can recognise the signs at the earliest opportunity so that it can be reported to the police.”

“Remember the F.O.U.R. mnemonic. If what you are experiencing or seeing happen to someone else fits this pattern, it’s stalking.”

Dorset Police can investigate the stalker and support and protect victims. Powers include the use of a Stalking Protection Order, up to and including arresting and charging an offender. Offenders do not need to have committed an act  of violence to end up in court, and should not be under any illusions that their obessesive behaviour is in any way romantic or reciprocated by the victim.

You can also be referred to an Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker (ISAC), who is not a police officer, and who can provide practical and emotional support alongside any investigation and subsequent legal proceedings if the person is charged. The ISAC for Dorset  is provided by Paragon. For further information and to make a referral please go to https://paragonteam.org.uk/teams/dorset or call 0800 032 5204

Find out more about stalking and harassment and how to report it to the police on our website:  www.dorset.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/sh/stalking-harassment

You can also get advice from the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 and get help and support from the Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service here www.paladinservice.co.uk/get-support

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust offers an online personal assessment tool to help victims identify stalking, which you can find at this link www.suzylamplugh.org/am-i-being-stalked-tool and the Alice Ruggles Trust provides guidance on stalking, including information about phone hacking, here: https://alicerugglestrust.org/aware