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 Father encouraged by steps to tackle stalking


The father of a woman who was murdered by her jealous ex-boyfriend has said he is encouraged by the steps Durham Constabulary is taking to tackle stalking.

Following their daughter’s death in 2016, the parents of Alice Ruggles have been working to raise awareness about the dangers of stalking through their charity, the Alice Ruggles Trust.

Alice was killed by her ex-boyfriend, Trimaan Dhillon, after three months during which he bombarded her with messages, hacked into her social media, and much more.

He drove 120 miles from his Army base in Edinburgh several times to try to see her, and then eventually to kill her in her Gateshead home.

Ahead of National Stalking Awareness Week, which begins today Monday (April 8), Alice’s father, Clive Ruggles, visited Durham Constabulary headquarters to see the work the force is doing to tackle stalking.

During his visit, he was shown how the force uses digital evidence to investigate offences of harassment and stalking, how the force supports victims and how call handlers have been trained to deal with potential incidents of stalking that are reported to them.

Speaking after his visit, he said: “I have seen what Durham Police have been doing and I am very encouraged. They have been making real strides in the last couple of years.

“People like Alice generally don’t go to the police soon enough, and they often play down what has happened to them.

“It is good to see that call handlers are being trained to read between the lines and helped to recognise cases of potential stalking for what they are, so that the right action will be taken."

Superintendent Richie Allen is Durham Constabulary’s lead for stalking and harassment, along with Inspector Emma Kay.

He said: “We wanted to invite Clive to Durham ahead of National Stalking Awareness Week so that he could see the work that we are doing, and we could take feedback from him to understand a broader national picture.

“We know that victims will often play down what has happened to them, but we would always urge them to make contact with us before it escalates and gets out of hand.

“Our officers and call handlers are trained to spot the signs of stalking, so if you feel you or someone you know is being stalked, please report it to us on 101 or 999 in an emergency, or contact an independent advocacy service.”