The Secure Societies Institute at the University of Huddersfield have been awarded a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council’s program ‘Partner with the police to tackle violence against women’ to carry out a research project entitled ‘Ten years on: stalking in Kirklees, policing and support for victims. 

Stalking offences were introduced into law in England and Wales in 2012, and there has been a large increase in reports of stalking across West Yorkshire in the last two years, including in the Kirklees district, but convictions for stalking offences are low. There is no recent research on stalking in West Yorkshire nor any specialist support provision for victims.

Dr Rosie Campbell OBE is the Principal Investigator on the project, working with Professor Jason Roach, the Co-Investigator. The project will bring the issue of stalking from the margins to the centre in policy and practice addressing violence against women and girls in Kirklees.

The project was developed with a range of partners who will continue to be involved throughout the project. These partners are West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, Safer Kirklees and Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership. The project will involve:

  • Setting up a new stalking knowledge and research hub linked to the Secure Societies Institute
  • Reviewing police data on stalking and investigative decision making in stalking
  • Identify current support for victims of stalking and reviewing best practice for stalking victims/survivors
  • Consulting women who have been victims of stalking about their experiences of support and get their views on improving support
  • Producing a model for a stalking support provision, produced with victims of stalking their advocates, domestic and sexual abuse services, women’s and girls’ services and other organisations

Practice and academic learning from the project will be shared across West Yorkshire and beyond the hub. The project will establish a clearer picture of stalking in Kirklees, including how West Yorkshire Police are currently policing stalking and gaps in support for survivors.This will help them get the protection and support they need, as early as possible to ensure their safety and reduce trauma.

Dr Rosie Campbell said, “I am so pleased that we have been successful in obtaining this grant. Across West Yorkshire there is a lot of work going on to better prevent violence against women and girls and provide better support for survivors. We will contribute to that work by carrying out action research which can improve stalking prevention, policing and specialist support for survivors/victims.  It’s important to me that we will be working with people of lived experience of stalking to inform the project and it’s outcomes. One of which is to produce recommendations for the design of a specialist stalking provision for Kirklees.”

Professor Jason Roach, added, “We developed the project application with key partners, West Yorkshire Combined Authority (Violence Reduction Unit), Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership,  West Yorkshire Police and Safer Kirklees. Partnership is central to the project and we hope that many more organisation will get involved especially via the Stalking Research and Knowledge hub that we will establish within the Secure Societies Institute. Whilst our geographical focus for the project is Kirklees, the learning from our project will be shared across West Yorkshire and beyond.”