Police responses to cyberstalking during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK

Martellozzo, Elena ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1249-7611, Bleakley, Paul ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2512-4072, Bradbury, Paula ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7837-7233, Frost, Stewart and Short, Emma (2022) Police responses to cyberstalking during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles . ISSN 0032-258X [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1177/0032258X221113452)

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Abstract

This research aims to explore how police officers responded to cyberstalking during the unprecedented period of the Covid-19 pandemic (March 2020-April 2021). More specifically, it aims to report the police experience of responding to cases of stalking, including cyberstalking, during this period; to explore officer confidence in identifying cyberstalking and to explore the challenges faced by frontline police. One hundred and two frontline police officers from two forces in the South of England took part in the online survey and, subsequently, ten officers and six key stakeholders each participated in a one-hour qualitative interview. The data indicates that the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted an increase in cyberstalking, and this has been attributed, by both the police and stakeholders, to the lockdown whereby people worked from home, had more time to become tech savvy and, as a result, developed digital skills that facilitate cyberstalking. Furthermore, it emerged that there is professional uncertainty among officers surrounding cyberstalking and how to deal with the problem effectively. However, this uncertainty is unquestionably not related to the lack of officers’ motivation, but to absence of a stalking screening tool that addresses cyberstalking, accompanied by effective multiagency training that would assist officers to understand the nature of the issue and to respond to it effectively.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 35314
Notes on copyright: Martellozzo, Elena, Bleakley, Paul, Bradbury, Paula, Frost, Stewart and Short, Emma (2022) Police responses to cyberstalking during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles . ISSN 0032-258X Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). DOI: 10.1177/0032258X221113452)
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Depositing User: Elena Martellozzo
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2022 09:45
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2022 11:26
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/35314

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