Members of South Ayrshire's Violence Against Women and Children Multi Agency Partnership (MAP) – dedicated to tackling domestic abuse, stalking and all forms of abuse towards women and children – joined the UK National Stalking Alliance during Britain's first National Stalking Awareness Day at the Scottish Parliament in on Wednesday 18 April 2012.
Representatives attended the inaugural event to hear campaigners, police and politicians across Scotland, England and Wales, unite to condemn stalking and pledge support to deal with the misery it causes, through the new National Stalking Alliance.
The day also formed part of a wider campaign, as universities, colleges and schools across the UK declared their own support for a 'zero tolerance' approach to stalking on campuses.
Harry Garland, Executive Director, Children and Community for South Ayrshire Council said: "Since 2009, the MAP has been working closely with Ann Moulds, founder of the Scottish National Stalking Group and the Action Scotland Against Stalking campaign, to highlight the seriousness of stalking crime.
"Locally, the MAP has worked to raise awareness of stalking through a series of high-profile initiatives, education and information programmes, which have included domestic abuse training, briefing sessions for Council employees and school pupil and promotional work with Strathclyde Police.
"In addition the group has worked successfully with a range of local football, rugby and sports clubs, organisations and societies encouraging their predominantly male membership to pledge support to the White Ribbon Campaign – aimed at preventing violence by men against women."
Launching the event, Ann Moulds, Founder of Scotland Against Stalking and the Scottish National Stalking Group, revealed that the legislation had seen 400 new reported cases since it was introduced – a stark contrast to the past, when only a handful of cases over the previous ten years were reported.
She commented: "The close working relationship between South Ayrshire and the Scottish National Stalking Group is ensuring that at both local and national level we are dealing with stalking and its impact on individuals and communities.
"It is particularly pleasing to see so many organisations, groups and agencies represented at the launch of National Stalking Day and I really hope the momentum generated by this will help others across the UK join us to stamp out stalking.
"Stalking is a crime and I know from first-hand experience it can happen to anyone through the unwanted and obsessive attention of a stalker.
"I'm confident the National Stalking Awareness Day and the Stalking Alliance will continue to develop and promote the work we have done to date and I will continue to raise the profile of stalking as a serious form of violence and a potentially lethal crime across Scotland and the whole of the UK."
For more information or to download information log on to www.scotlandagainststalking.com telephone 0808 802 0300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.