14 people on stalking charge

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FOURTEEN people in Lothian and Borders were charged with stalking in the first four months after it became a specific criminal offence.

The charges were brought between the law being enacted on December 13 and March 31, police figures show.

The government created the offence of engaging in threatening, alarming or distressing behaviour, which includes harassment over cyberspace or through texting.

A police spokesman said: “Stalking can be one of the most invasive and pernicious types of offence, given the huge impact it can have on a victim, their daily routine and also frequently on those around them, such as family members and work colleagues.

“Stalking is associated with obsessive behaviour and is identified as a high-risk factor within related incidents such as unwanted contact by text and telephone, harassment, vandalism, watching and following.

“Lothian and Borders Police will treat reported incidents seriously.”