Stalking and harrassment in Newham rose 15pc last year

sarah everard

Sarah Everard's body was found in woodland in Kent on Wednesday. - Credit: MPS

Stalking and harassment increased by 15 per cent in Newham last year.

There were 2,318 reports of stalking or harassment in Newham in the year to September 2020, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales. 

This compares to 2,010 in the borough the year before.

The figure - which does not specify whether the victims and perpetrators were male or female - comes amid growing debate around the safety of women following the death of Sarah Everard.

The body of the 33-year-old marketing executive was discovered in woodland in Kent on Wednesday, March 10. 

A Met Police officer who was arrested on suspicion of her murder remains in custody.

The service is to be investigated over its handling of an allegation of indecent exposure against the same officer.

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Asst Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said on Friday, March 12: "I know the public feel deeply hurt and angry and I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say we too are horrified.

"I understand women in London and the wider public, particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing, will be worried and may well be feeling frightened.

"Londoners are likely to continue to see extra officers on the streets in the coming days. Our officers are committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe."

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, tweeted: "Deepest condolences to Sarah’s parents, family and loved ones during this devastating time."

Newham's 15pc increase in stalking and harassment is the same as that observed in England and Wales. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says stalking offences account for the increase - from 23,543 offences in 2019 to 64,265 in 2020.

However, the ONS expects a change to the way the Home Office counts stalking, harassment, controlling or coercive behaviour since 2018 caused an increase.

Neighbouring Barking and Dagenham also saw a 15pc rise, from 1,573 in 2019 to 1,811 in 2020.

Newham announced in November it would campaign to have misogyny - hatred of women and girls - added to a list of hate crimes.

The mayor said: "[Women] and girls should not have to accept this behaviour and should not have to change the way they live their lives to avoid harassment or discrimination or be fearful of violence."

The Crime Survey for England and Wales records all types of crimes, including those that might not have been reported to the police.