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

Article


Martellozzo, E., Bleakley, P., Bradbury, P., Frost, S. and Short, E. 2022. Police responses to cyberstalking during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032258X221113452
TypeArticle
TitlePolice responses to cyberstalking during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK
AuthorsMartellozzo, E., Bleakley, P., Bradbury, P., Frost, S. and Short, E.
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.

Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
LanguageEnglish
PublisherSage
JournalThe Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
ISSN0032-258X
Electronic1740-5599
Publication dates
Online12 Jul 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Jun 2022
Accepted22 Jun 2022
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

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)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0032258X221113452
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