STALKING victims are being given mobile phones by the police when their own are taken away for investigation.

When stalking cases are investigated by police, victims’ mobile phones are often taken away to be examined for evidence.

In a move to prevent increased risk and vulnerability during this time, police officers in Greater Manchester are now giving higher-risk victims temporary replacement handsets.

The scheme is being funded by the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s office to ensure vulnerable victims are still able to contact the police, friends and family while their case is being investigated.

This week is National Stalking Awareness Week and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Bev Hughes said: "The impact of stalking on someone’s life is huge and the emotional damage long-lasting.

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“Having to hand your phone over for examination is a necessary but hugely disarming process for victims. It helps secure prosecutions and bring offenders to justice, but can also leave victims feeling bereft and vulnerable.

“Unfortunately, the criminal justice system doesn’t always have victims at its heart, but through such a simple scheme as this, we can ensure perpetrators are brought to justice without causing further distress.”

Victims of stalking are being encouraged to take that brave step and report it to police: in an emergency, people should call 999.

If it is not an emergency, people can report by calling 101 or using the new live chat function on the Greater Manchester Police website –

As well as encouraging reporting, Greater Manchester is making it easier for victims and survivors of crime – including stalking – to get help and support. It doesn’t matter when the crime took place, or if it was reported it to the police.

Visit to get practical advice, read information, or find a support service. Or call 0161 200 1950 to speak to an adviser from Victim Support, an independent charity commissioned by the Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire.