Stalking & Harassment

Stalking is a crime under Scottish law and is an offence against the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 Section 39.

Stalking is unwanted behaviours carried out by one person, or persons, against another causing fear and alarm. It normally manifests as a course of conduct rather than an isolated incident and can include:

  • Following/surveillance/trackers on mobile phones/cars
  • Standing outside a home, school, place of work or anywhere the woman may be
  • Verbal abuse or humiliating a woman in public
  • Unwanted, unsolicited, threatening contact, phone calls, letters, gifts, emails, text messages
  • Threats against the person, members of her/his family, friends or pets
  • Damage to property
  • Physical or sexual assault
  • Stalkers rarely employ one type of stalking behaviour and often employ several.  It is not uncommon for stalker to have help from others unwittingly or not.


Domestic Abuse and Stalking charges in Scotland, 2021-22 (opens new window)

  • In 2022-23, 30,139 charges were reported to Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS )  fiscal with a domestic abuse identifier.  
  • 94% of charges identified as being related to domestic abuse are prosecuted. 
  • The most common types of offences reported in 2022-23 with a domestic abuse identifier were threatening and abusive behaviour offences, common assault and crimes against public justice. 
  • In 2022-23, 921 stalking charges under section 39 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 were reported to Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service. Of these 53% were identified as domestic abuse.