Victims of stalkers across Suffolk are being urged to seek help as a national campaign aimed at highlighting the issue gets under way.
The purpose of National Stalking Awareness Week, which began on Monday, is to encourage those who believe they are being targeted to speak out.
Statistics for Suffolk show that 71 offences of stalking were recorded in the last year in the county, with nine victims under the age of 18.
Detective Superintendent Dave Cutler, who heads Suffolk Constabulary’s directorate for protecting vulnerable people, said: “Stalking often has a huge emotional impact on the victim, who can feel very much alone and unable to seek help for fear of repercussions or that they will not be taken seriously.
“Only by increasing reporting can we gain a full understanding of the extent of stalking in the county.
“I urge victims to take the brave step to come forward and report incidents to the police or any of the third party support groups available.
“We would like to stress that no-one need feel alone. They should not just accept that this is something which is happening to them and that no-one can help them.”
Victims can call Suffolk Constabulary on 101 – if life is in danger or a crime is in progress, call 999 – or call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0800 2000 247, or National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.
More information can be found at www.stalking helpline.org.