22nd Oct, 2021

Stalkers given chance to change behaviour thanks to PCC-funded project

Sarah Mason 14th Oct, 2021

STALKERS across the region are being given the chance to work with police to change their behaviour as part of a new project funded by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

Following the rise in reported cases of stalking a new initiative is being trialled that it is hoped will help tackle the problem.

The scheme will see people who have been identified as exhibiting stalking behaviours referred to a forensic psychologist who will help the perpetrators to change their behaviours before they escalate to more dangerous levels.

They will have six sessions with a forensic psychologist who will attempt to ‘turn off’ the cycle of abuse.

The £200,000 programme is being funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, after being developed by West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Cate Webb-Jones and leading forensic psychologist Rachael Wheatley.

The service will specifically target stalking that takes place between people who have been in an intimate relationship as cases of that kind have risen by 59 percent in the last year.

The people targeted are those who are committing acts associated with stalking, but haven’t yet been sent to prison for their crimes.

There will also be support for victims as part of the programme.

The stalking intervention programme is to be trialled until August next year.

Detective Inspector Cate Webb-Jones, said: “Stalking victims need the stalking behaviours to stop because it creates such psychological damage and affects every aspect of their lives.

“Criminal justice outcomes alone don’t stop or change a perpetrator’s behaviour, which is where this new programme comes in.

“We have worked hard to develop a programme which seeks to change the mind-set of the perpetrator, many of whom are fixated and obsessed.

“By changing their behaviours we can prevent further harm for the victim or future victims and break that cycle of abuse.”

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