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