University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Improving the police investigation of domestic abuse cyber stalking and harassment cases – the experience of police officers

Erol, Rosie ORCID: and Taylor-Dunn, Holly (2021) Improving the police investigation of domestic abuse cyber stalking and harassment cases – the experience of police officers. In: British Society of Criminology 2021 Crime and Harm: Challenges of social and global justice?, 7th - 9th July 2021, online. (Unpublished)

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Over half of stalking and harassment victims experience online abuse, with the police response being described as being ‘unhelpful’ (Taylor-Dunn et al, 2017). In 2018, a UK police force set up a specialist team to investigate cases of domestic abuse cyber stalking and harassment (DACSH). This aimed to improve the police response to cyber stalking and harassment, to improve the experience of victims and bring more successful prosecutions. The team comprised of specially trained officers, along with a co-located Independent Domestic Violence Advisor.
A survey of frontline police officers in the force indicated a lack of confidence in identifying and collecting evidence, signposting victim/survivors of DACSH for further support, and investigating cyber enabled stalking and harassment. Interviews with the specialist officers were conducted to understand the investigation process more fully, alongside a detailed analysis of police case files. There was evidence of better identification and investigation of DACSH offences in the project area, and more successful prosecutions of these offences. Factors which contributed to this included the technical knowledge and ability of specialist officers to gather better quality evidence, having the time to conduct resource intensive investigations fully, and retaining the support of the victim throughout the prosecution process.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Domestic Abuse, Policing, Cyber crime, stalking and harassment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Rosie Erol
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 14:47
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 14:47

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