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This Writer knows a couple of people who have been victims of stalkers – both women.

Both have withstood their ordeal well enough – at least if one is judging by outward appearances. But asking the right questions revealed that at least one of them is having to deal with long-term psychological issues as a result – and isn’t coping very well.

In both cases, the police were a dead loss.

Perhaps it is hardly surprising. Funding cuts by the minority Conservative government mean that there are more than 21,000 fewer police officers in England and Wales than in 2010. That cut alone is equivalent to 18 times the number of police officers in This Writer’s force area (Dyfed Powys).

The police officers who remain are said to be under extreme stress – so much that some are being driven towards suicide.

So they don’t investigate stalking properly, even though 94 per cent of murders are said to have involved stalking of some kind.

The money that is no longer being spent on policing has been turned into tax breaks for rich people and donors to the Conservative Party; the UK as a whole does not benefit from them in any way.

So much for the Party of Law and Order. Under the Conservatives, you are less safe than you have ever been.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust estimates there are about 1.1 million cases every year in which victims are harassed, intimidated or made to feel unsafe by a stalker – many of which are never reported to the police.

In 2015/16, there were just 753 prosecutions for stalking offences, with 529 ending in a conviction – around 0.04 per cent of the total number of estimated incidents.

a study by the charity, set up in memory of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared without trace more than 30 years ago, revealed stalking behaviour is present in the background of a huge number of cases in which women are killed by men.

Of 358 murders examined during a three-year period from 2012 until 2014, the killer was found to have engaged in some form of stalking in 94 per cent.

Labour MP and former shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said cuts to emergency service budgets made it harder for the authorities to tackle incidents.

“The police need the resources, capabilities and training to prevent and prosecute this crime. At the moment this simply isn’t the case – and victims are being let down.”

If you suspect you are, or know someone who may be a victim of stalking, call the helpline on 0808 802 0300 or visit the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website for more information.

Read more: An Incredibly Tiny Percentage Of Stalking Incidents End In Prosecution, Charity Says

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