The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has launched this year’s National Stalking Awareness Week to highlight the issue and the increasing numbers of cases being investigated by the police.
Running from 16th to the 20th April, it will include a half-day conference today about best practice in stalking cases, and afterwards a free film screening of Obsessed starring Idris Elba and Beyoncé.
The trust was set up in memory of 25-year-old London estate agent Suzy Lamplugh (pictured, below) who disappeared after attending a property viewing in 1986.
She was officially declared dead in 1994 and after an initial investigation at the time of her disappearance, the case was revisited by police in 2010.
Her disappearance has been the subject of both an ITV Real Crime programme and, last year, a Casefile True Crime Podcast.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust has also been instrumental in supporting the Stalking Protection Bill, which received its Second Reading in Parliament during January and is now in its Committee stage.
The Bill seeks to introduce Stalking Protection Orders to help victims, three quarters of whom endure over 100 incidents before reporting anything to the police or seeking help, the trust says.
It runs the National Stalking Helpline (0808 802 0300) and is asking for both help to raise awareness about National Stalking Awareness Week via the #ReportingStalking hashtag on Twitter, and donations.
We are also calling on support services to make stalking a priority in their local area,” the trust says.
Suzy is not the only estate agent to face a violent attack while at work. In 1992 a female agent in Birmingham was kidnapped by Michael Sams and only released after her employer paid a ransom. And in June 2006 a female branch employee in Wiltshire was attacked by a man at a viewing but managed to escape.