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National stalking awareness week

North Yorkshire Police launch video to highlight cyberstalking

As part of National stalking awareness week (April 19-23) North Yorkshire Police’s stalking support team and cyber crime unit have joined together to make a video, warning people about cyberstalking and explain the steps that can be taken to keep stalkers out of our home technology.

With stalker’s physical movements being restricted over lockdown, key agencies such as the National Stalking Helpline are reporting a marked increase in the number of victims who are being stalked online through social media or by stalkers accessing the smart devices in their homes.

Similarly, North Yorkshire Police has seen the number of stalking cases with a cyber element reported to them over lockdown more than double.*

With the huge increase in the popularity of devices such as electronic doorbells, smart speakers and mobile based apps that can control the heating and lighting in our homes, there are more and more ways that a stalker can access private information and form a picture of a victim’s movements.

To highlight this change in stalker behaviour and to provide some guidance around how to protect the technology around us, Inspector Clare Crossan, who leads our Stalking Support Team and Detective Sergeant Gavin Mayes from our Cyber Crime Unit have made a short video about cyberstalking. In the video they discuss how victims can spot the signs of stalkerware and the steps we can all take to make our devices more secure.

If you are being stalked you can report it to North Yorkshire Police on 101 – always dial 999 in an emergency. If you do not want to speak to police there is help still available. Details of other support agencies are available at the end of the video or over on our website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/stalking

To learn more about cyberstalking you can also visit www.stopstalkerware.org www.getsafeonline.org or www.thecyberhelpline.com

#UnmaskingStalking #NSAW2021

*In the year April 19-March 20 202 reports of stalking with a cyber connection were reported to North Yorkshire Police. For the equivalent period April 20-Mar 21 427 reports were received – an increase of 225.

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