The fourth Alice Ruggles Trust conference was held on
Thursday, 13 October 2022
at College Court conference centre, University of Leicester, and on-line
About the conference
On October 13 the Alice Ruggles Trust, in partnership with the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester, held the fourth of our annual conferences where we bring together a range of practitioners and academics with a particular interest in stalking.
Present were 60 people from related charities including several partners in the National Stalking Consortium and at least 28 Advocates; 51 police from 24 different forces; 23 people from social, health, and local government services; 8 from Prison and Probation services; a few from legal support and IT services; and 22 academics and students from 10 different Universities. As ever, we aimed to stimulate further integration between these groups in order to improve strategies to tackle stalking and thus make victims safer.
This year we focused on three interrelated themes: cyberstalking, perpetrator interventions and multi-agency approaches.
The conference was a hybrid, with 87 delegates attending in person and a further 105 on line.
Keynote speakers and workshops
Our keynote speakers were
Rory Innes: “What do cyberstalking victims need?”
Rory is founder and CEO of The Cyber Helpline. He has spent his whole career in cybersecurity and has worked for leading global cybersecurity companies in a range of senior management positions. He is responsible for building the Cyber Helpline, one of the first cybersecurity practices dedicated to helping individuals and families, rather than businesses.
DCC Paul Mills: “Improving the police response to stalking and harassment”
Paul is National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for stalking and harassment offence. He holds a Masters from the University of Cambridge in Police Leadership and Applied Criminology and a PhD from Bath Spa University. He was the Chair of the Strategic Planning Group for both the Salisbury and Amesbury novichok poisoning incidents. In the 2020 New Year Honours list Paul was awarded the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service.
Dan Price-Jones: “The Harm Reduction Unit: an integrated multi-agency model to manage stalking risks”
Dan is Consultant Forensic Psychologist at Cheshire Constabulary’s multi-agency Harm Reduction Unit (HRU). His clinical background is within both secure hospital and community settings, working particularly with adults with an intellectual disability who present with diverse risk and offending behaviours. His passion for the practical application of psychological knowledge informed the creation, development and establishment of the Integrated Anti-Stalking Unit (IASU), the forerunner of the HRU.
We also ran a number of parallel workshops relating to each of our three themes: cyberstalking, perpetrator interventions and multi-agency approaches:
Charlotte Hooper: “Cyberstalking: collecting the evidence”
This interactive workshop worked through a practical example of collecting evidence in a cyberstalking case. Charlotte is the Helpine Manager at the Cyber Helpline, and will be assisted by its CEO, Rory Innes.
Emma Short: “Cyberstalking: reflections on the evolution of
fixated online intrusions”
Emma examined our changing understanding from 2007 onwards and then facilitate a discussion about the trends the workshop group are seeing emerging, taking note of the main themes that emerge. Emma is Associate Professor in Psychology at De Montfort University, Leicester.
Rachael Wheatley and Tom Page: “Early interventions with perpetrators”
This workshop presented the first evaluations of the Early Awareness Stalking Intervention (EASI) pilot project. Rachael is a Senor Lecturer at the University of Derby, having previously worked for HMPPS (Midlands) for 21 years. From September, she will be managing a forensic psychology practitioner qualification programme, conducting research, and undertaking consultancy, specialising in stalking and related matters. Rachael is also a Trustee of the Alice Ruggles Trust. Tom is a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, also at the University of Derby. He previously worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Kent where he also completed his PhD in Forensic Psychology. His broad area of research interest is sexual violence where he has a particular focus on sexual harassment and stalking perpetration.
Christopher Rosenbrier: “A tiered approach to stalking intervention”
This workshop presented an intervention model being explored in the north-east of England. Chris is a Specialist Clinical Psychologist at the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.
Sarah-Louise Edwards: “Multi-agency working: the STAC model”
This interactive workshop explored the multi-agency working model implemented at the London Stalking Threat Assessment Centre (STAC). Sarah is Head of Operations at Suzy Lamplugh Trust, overseeing STAC, the National Stalking Helpline, the London Stalking Support Service and the National Stalking Advocacy service, including a psychological advocacy and support programme.
Louise from Paladin: “Paladin: What we have learned”
Louise, who led this workshop, is the country’s only dedicated young people’s ISAC (Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworker), working at Paladin National Stalking Advocacy Service. She will explore key trends Paladin are seeing nationally around the response to stalking and the challenges of developing professional curiosity.
This year, for the first time, we also had poster displays of ongoing projects by research students from Universities around the country.
Finally Dave Thomason, who created and leads day-to-day operations at Cheshire Constabulary’s multi-agency Harm Reduction Unit (HRU), presented an update on progress following our conference resolution from last year calling for an urgent and comprehensive independent review of Stalking Protection Orders.
Arrival, registration and coffee / On-line registration
Introduction and opening
Keynote What do cyberstaking victims need? — Rory Innes
- Cyberstalking: collecting the evidence — Charlotte Hooper (N)
- Early interventions with perpetrators — Rachael Wheatley and Tom Page (A)
- A tiered approach to stalking intervention — Christopher Rosenbrier (N)
(A —Available to all; N — Not available to on-line participants)
Update on SPOs, following last year's resolution — Dave Thomason
Keynote Improving the police response to stalking and harassment — DCC Paul Mills
Keynote The Harm Reduction Unit: an integrated multi-agency model to manage stalking risks — Dan Price-Jones
- Cyberstalking: reflections on the evolution of fixated online intrusions — Emma Short (N)
- Multi-agency working: the STAC model — Sarah-Louise Edwards (N)
- The work of Paladin’s ISACs, and how this changed through lockdown — Louise from Paladin (A)
(A —Available to all; N — Not available to on-line participants)
Panel The future of cyberstaking: risks and prevention — Charlotte Hooper, Rory Innes, Emma Short, and Louise from Paladin
Close; coffee and refreshments available on-site
The conference was held at College Court, a conference centre with hotel accommodation run by the University of Leicester.
On the evening before the conference we held a dinner, with a number of special guests, to mark the fifth anniversary of the Alice Ruggles Trust and thank our fundraisers, donors and supporters.