This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.
The police service receives many calls relating to stalking or harassment, cases are diverse, some can be complex to deal with and there are some where the perpetrators pose a real threat of harm to victims. There is a need to develop a proportionate response, focusing resources on those cases that require them.
It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between stalking or harassment (the law does not define stalking) to determine the appropriate response. This advice seeks to support first responders to make effective, risk-based decisions.
No framework or assessment approach is going to be 100% accurate but this advice, developed in consultation with our specialist partners and police practitioners, is intended to help responders to investigate effectively, identify and understand risk and respond appropriately.
- Advice for supervisors, managers and senior leaders on leading an effective policing response to stalking or harassment offences.
- Advice for investigators.
- Advice to police responders and call takers to ensure an effective response to reports of stalking or harassment.
- Flowchart for initial response.
- College of Policing (2021) Revenge Pornography.
Stalking protection orders (SPOs)
- Statutory guidance.
- Briefing note for practitioners.
- SPO briefing presentation for authorising officers.
- SPO process map for authorising officers.
- SPO process map for practitioners.
- SPO checklist.
- SPO transfer form.
- SPO transfer advice.
The documents listed above override any advice contained within the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) (2009) Practice Advice on Investigating Stalking and Harassment and College of Policing (2013) Briefing Note for Amendments to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 relating to the initial police response.