AT LEAST one case of stalking or harassment was reported on average every day in Pembrokeshire last year, figures have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released police recorded crime data on stalking and harassment at a local level.

It shows that during 2017 in Pembrokeshire, 473 cases of stalking, harassment or malicious communications were reported.

Stalking, by far the most serious, can include following someone, repeatedly going uninvited to their home and monitoring their use of phones and computers.

In Pembrokeshire, reports of stalking and harassment increased by 87 per cent over the last two years, from 61 cases in 2015.

The ONS said these changes could be down to improved reporting by the police, a sentiment echoed by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Detective Superintendent Anthony Griffiths, force lead for the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: “Stalking can have a huge emotional impact on victims affecting their self-esteem, self-confidence and feelings of safety.

“We acknowledge the increase in stalking and harassment figures and are encouraged to see increases in the recording of under reported offences.

“We are working hard to gain the confidence of victims so they feel able to report to us.

“The force has also worked hard to improve its crime recording practises, and this will account for a proportion of the increase seen.

“The way harassment crimes are recorded changed in 2016, which has also contributed to the increase seen.”

'Victims will be taken seriously'

“Statistics show victims may suffer up to 100 incidents before reporting the issue to police and we want victims to know that they can come to police sooner and will be taken seriously,” said DS Griffiths.

“They should never feel they are wasting our time or that they are over-reacting.

“I would encourage anyone who is a victim of crime across our area to contact us and ensure that their experience is recorded, investigated and most importantly, that they are given the support they may need and deserve.”

But a spokesman for the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, a charity which campaigns to reduce the risk of violence and aggression, said recording stalking and harassment in the same data set did not give a ‘clear indication of the prevalence of these individual, distinct crimes’.

They said stalking was still vastly underreported, and there was a huge disparity between the recorded crime statistics and the ONS' figures - the Crime Survey of England and Wales.

More help on the cards

A new Stalking Protection Bill, currently being discussed in Parliament, would create new civil Stalking Protection Orders to help victims earlier.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Stalking can have terrifying consequences, which is why this Government is working to protect victims and stop perpetrators at the earliest opportunity.

"These orders will make it possible to intervene in cases before concerning behaviours become entrenched and escalate in severity, especially in cases of 'stranger stalking'."

Breaching the order could result in up to five years in prison.

To report concerns about stalking in the Dyfed-Powys area to police call 101 or email

Use 999 if an incident is on-going or there is threat to life.