Shana Grice’s brutal murder in 2016 is an example of how stalking can escalate into tragic circumstances. It also sadly exposed local officers’ inefficiency in their policing of stalking and obsessive behaviour.
Shana – who was just 19 when she was killed – contacted police to seek protection from Michael Lane, then 27, after his year-long campaign of harassment against her.
Shockingly, officers ended up treating Shana like the criminal and fined her for wasting police time because she hadn’t disclosed that Lane was a former partner of hers.
Disturbing statistics recently revealed that 94% of female murders have been preceded by stalking behaviour, as criminologists investigate a staggering correlation between the two crimes.
A six-month study by the University of Gloucestershire found that stalking was present in 94% of the 358 cases of murders they looked at, and stalking behaviour was identified in nine out of 10 murders studied.
But despite the shocking findings, stalking offences are often not taken seriously enough by the authorities, or acknowledged as a precursor to violence and potentially fatal consequences.
Rachel, also the Chair for the National Stalking Advocacy Service Paladin, argues that a culture of misogyny in the police force is to blame. She suggests this needs to be acknowledged before it can be dismantled.
“Nearly every case I deal with a victim has reported stalking to police and they are met with an attitude of disbelief,” Rachel told Cosmopolitan.com/uk. “I’m dealing with cases at the moment that the police have handled badly and we have this culture of disbelief in my view which is not uncommon when it comes to crimes against women including rape and sexual abuse.
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