Paisley Daily Express

Uni leading the way in fight against stalking


A team at Paisley’s university is working to help set up a pioneering new research centre to tackle abusive behaviour and stalking in society.

University of the West of Scotland - which has a campus on Paisley High Street – and Action Against Stalking are set to launch a new partnershi­p and centre of excellence, focused on the prevention of stalking, harmful and abusive behaviour in communitie­s.

The centre, which could be based in Paisley, will be unveiled at the first- ever internatio­nal stalking conference, running from tomorrow to Thursday, as part of National Stalking Awareness Week.

The conference ‘ Dynamics Between the Stalker and the Victim’, brings together global experts to share knowledge around this key societal issue.

Speakers include Police and Crime Commission­er for Sussex, Katy Bourne OBE; the President of Victim Support Europe, João Lázaro; Head of Public Protection at Police Scotland, Detective Chief Superinten­dent Sam McCluskey; former Homicide Detective in California, Detective Mike Proctor; and Associate Professor of Criminolog­y at Örebro University, Sweden, Prof Susanne Strand. There are also contributi­ons from academics and profession­als in this field from other countries including Canada, Sweden and Australia.

The new centre – a partnershi­p between Action Against Stalking and UWS – seeks to conduct and promote innovative, applied, multidisci­plinary research.

In its first year, the centre will focus on research and knowledge exchange activity relating to three main themes: the impact of stalking, coercion and control on children and young people; the motivation­s and impulses associated with perpetrato­rs; and the nature and impact of the online environmen­t on the prevalence of cyber-stalking.

Paisley- based Ross Deuchar, Professor of Criminolog­y and Criminal Justice at University of the West of Scotland, and interim director of the centre, said: “I’m delighted to be involved in the launch of the new Centre for Action Against Stalking – an internatio­nal centre against abusive and harmful behaviour.

“I am pleased that we are able to launch the centre as part of the first- ever internatio­nal stalking conference, which brings together world-leading stalking experts for a ground-breaking three-day event.”

Comment i n g on the internatio­nal conference and the new partnershi­p with UWS, Ann Moulds, founder of Action Against Stalking, added: “One in six people experience stalking in a 12-month period.

“It can happen to anyone, any age, anywhere. Stalking takes place across jurisdicti­onal boundaries. In being the voice for victims of stalking and constantly striving to improve support to them, AAS has a vision to promote research and developmen­t on an internatio­nal basis.

“We want to encourage research into the broad manifestat­ions of stalking and which reflects the changing context under which stalking sits.

“In general terms, stalking research written in English is focused in Australia, England and the USA. As stalking is treated as a sub-set of other crimes in the UK, there is an urgent need for robust data specifical­ly on stalking, and which is paramount for both treatment and remediatio­n.

“Having held two UK conference­s on stalking, AAS is delighted to join forces with UWS in this first-ever internatio­nal conference and summit on stalking. We welcome our internatio­nal cast of speakers and delegates.

“This is evidence of the interest and commitment across the globe to take a stand against stalking.”

Find out more and register to attend the conference at www. actionagai­nststalkin­g. org/ conference

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