NSAW2024 – Izzy

how multi-agency stalking helped Izzy
Posted April 23, 2024 by

For National Stalking Awareness Week 2024, the National Stalking Consortium theme, led by our partners at The Suzy Lamplugh Trust is, “Join Forces Against Stalking”.

Effective multi-agency working is crucial for ensuring victims of stalking are supported from their point of disclosure right through until a conviction and beyond. This year, we are calling for agencies across the police, CPS and healthcare to join forces, and work together to effectively support victims of stalking. We will be showcasing examples of best practice and highlighting the important role multi-agency working has played for the victims we support.

Stalking behaviours and referral to Aurora – Armed Forces case:

Izzy* is serving in the British Army. She was referred to us via her staff sergeant and unit welfare officer. Izzy told us she had met the stalker through friends at a party and he was added to a WhatsApp group to arrange a camping trip. From there he used Izzy’s number to message her personally.

The messages started to get personal, and Izzy made it clear that she was not interested in a relationship. From there the messages came through on all the client’s social media pages and became very sexually explicit. This was particularly distressing as when Izzy had joined the Army, she had shut down many of her social media accounts, however the messages continued, and she was left feeling like he could circumnavigate any of her security restrictions, so she reported the stalking to her unit.

Support provided:

Throughout the case we consistently reviewed all of Izzy’s online and offline safety. There were multiple access points the stalker used, including that the stalker had found out the street where her mum and sister lived, and he told her he had been outside watching for Izzy. Due to this Izzy had not been returning home to seek support from her family.

Multi Agency Working:

Izzy was put in touch with the MET Police. An officer took several statements from Izzy and downloaded the evidence from her phone to a USB. A harassment order was issued, and the stalker contacted Izzy immediately after receiving the order and told her:

“They’ll have to jail me or kill me before I’ll stop”.

We encouraged Izzy to take this to the police and they said he would be arrested, but he wasn’t, and he continued to stalk her. Izzy was told later that the stalker had convinced the police that they had been in a relationship, and this was their rationale for taking no further action. It was deemed to be ‘a bad break-up’.

Over this time, Izzy changed her surname and blocked all contact and media accounts. The stalker would create more accounts and find ways to message her. The messages ranged from declarations of love to threats to kill her, kidnap her, and sexually assault her.

The stalker described in messages that he had raped his partner and beat her whilst imagining the client. The messages came through at approx. 100 a day and Izzy did not read them; they were left in a message request folder. The videos the stalker sent included naked images, and they were very threatening.

Izzy was really reluctant to report to the police, but she recognised it was now affecting her work and emotional state and she needed support. We supported Izzy to understand our capacity to advocate on her behalf and once she was ready, we called 101 and reported to Hampshire police. They deemed client high risk and said they would attend immediately. A short time later Hampshire Constabulary told us that they had passed the case to Sussex as it was under their jurisdiction.

Initially, Sussex said Izzy was not high risk and there was no way to tell when a police officer would come out, so we attended a meeting with them, and they informed us this was a simple harassment case and they would only need to look at the last 6 months of evidence. At the meeting, the police officer told us it would have been easier if the client had been in a relationship with the stalker.

Our Armed Forces advocate sought guidance from senior management at Aurora who immediately linked in with colleagues at different police depts for assistance. West Sussex police got back in touch and asked the client to send them screen shots of all the messages received.

There were so many messages and Izzy was incredibly distressed at sending them, so we intervened and advocated for the police to organise a face-to-face meeting at a police station so they could take the evidence directly from the phone. It took 2 days to download one weeks’ worth of messages. The Met police intervened at this stage, and after communicating with senior management at Aurora they sent specialist officers to collect the data without Izzy being present. They discovered many hidden messages that Izzy hadn’t seen and stated the content was so disturbing they would not be disclosing it to the client. The Met police took over the investigation and immediately put markers on the homes of the client’s family. The stalker had sent pictures from outside the client’s father’s house and made threats of harm.

The Met police spoke to Izzy’s family to ensure there was safeguarding for everyone connected to her. Whilst all this was going on Izzy was due to deploy oversees and she was encouraged to go, once she was safely out of the country the Met police took a team to arrest the stalker and seize all equipment in his home.

The level of knowledge he had about Izzy was extreme and they were also able to establish who his new partner was to offer her support and assistance.

Victim Voice and next steps:

The stalker was charged and convicted of a stalking 4a offence. He was given a suspended sentence which he immediately breached.

Contact with the police was limited as they preferred going directly to Izzy’s chain of command in the Army, this was frustrating for a young soldier as she did not want her work to know every detail in the case. They assumed she could not complete her duties but it also added a delay in the support we could provide.

We supported Izzy throughout the criminal justice process and the stalker was sent to prison in violation of his suspended sentence.

On case closure, the client was linked in with mental health services in the army and she remained determined to continue in her travels to progress in her career. After the stalker was jailed, Izzy described the silence as being as frightening as the stalking, because the fear had been a huge part of her everyday life, and she struggled to cope when it stopped. She said it was such a strange feeling that others couldn’t understand, and it made things harder for a while as she came to trust that it was finally over.

We met Izzy a year after the case was and she said:

“I finally sleep well at night because since the stalker was released from jail he has been forced to work with mental health teams and, thankfully all the behaviour’s towards her have stopped.”

*not her real name



If you are being subjected to stalking and you live in Thames Valley, call us on 02392 479254.

You can also contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0330.

If you would like to support the Aurora New Dawn charity and you are able to donate you can do so here:

If you would like to support our female only group work and you are able to donate you can do so here:

Aurora’s helpline – 6pm to 9am Monday to Friday and 24hrs over the weekend 02394 216 816

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About the author

Writer in Residence

Sarah Cheverton is Aurora New Dawn's Writer in Residence and a freelance writer and researcher. As well as writing the copy for the Aurora website, Sarah works with the Aurora team on consultation responses, communications and service evaluations. She also works as a Co-Editor for feminist news site Women's Views on News.

See all of Writer in Residence's articles — 91 total

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