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New intervention offers new hope to tackle the root causes of stalking and harassment

Events Key insight Partnerships 25 January 2024

Ahead of this week’s National Stalking Conference, Interventions Alliance’s Carl Hall, who designed a new intervention to tackle the root causes of stalking behaviour, discusses new options available to the police and courts to tackle this distressing crime.  

Stalking can have a devastating impact on those who are targeted, and police are recording more incidents of the offence than ever. Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that 2.5 million people a year experience stalking in England and Wales. [1]

In the past, the police and courts had few options for dealing with this deeply distressing crime. While restraining orders or custody can protect the targets of stalking and harassment, there were no interventions to tackle the root causes.

The Compulsive Obsessive Behaviour Intervention (COBI) offers a valuable addition to the options available. The intervention is based on Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), which is a specialist option to help participants to identify, develop and improve their thinking processes and emotional responses. Research[2] from the United States shows that people who complete the course have a much-reduced rate of reoffending.

We’ve brought this approach to the UK and are working with multiple police forces to deliver this specialist programme. On 26th January, I’ll share a platform with Sussex Police at the National Stalking Conference to share our experience working with perpetrators and supporting survivors. We work with Sussex Police by working with the stalkers they identify as requiring targeted treatment, most often through a Stalking Protection Order. If we can protect survivors and prevent further harm and future victims of this crime, we believe it’s an option worth pursuing for all those connected to this troubling crime.

[1] The Tackling Stalking and Harassment Conference 2024 • Government Events %

[2] Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for the treatment of stalking offenders: A randomized controlled study. (