The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) describes stalking as a crime of “power and control.” Stalking is described as repetitive acts of unwanted behavior that includes visual or physical closeness, harassing communication, and verbal, written, or implied threats. This can include following someone or giving them unwanted gifts or other items. The question is how to deal with a stalker. The following are suggested immediate steps to be taken by the victim:
• 1. Immediately begin keeping notes that document the behavior
• 2. Secure any letters or notes
• 3. Secure any unwanted gifts
• 4. Make tape recordings of any voice messages including date and time
• 5. If there are repeated telephone messages, ask the telephone company to set a trap on the line
The stalking should be reported to the police and evidence of the stalker’s activity turned over for investigation. The stalker’s identity may be known or unknown, and if unknown the police investigation may be able to make identification. If the stalker persists, action may be taken under state law. This can result in arrest, prosecution, and issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO). This may end the problem; however, a dedicated stalker may continue the unwanted activities, which may become more threatening.
There are stalking cases that continue on for long periods of time and police do not have the time to work them. This is the time when J&R Folino, LLC, Private Investigation Services can provide additional services to the stalking victim, which includes identification of the stalker, background investigation and surveillance where appropriate to aid the victim.