A NEW service has been launched by the NHS to combat stalking.

Southern Health has set up a service called the Recolo Project for people who are experiencing obsessive or fixated thoughts and behaviours about others which is impacting on their own lives and the lives of others, particularly victims.

The service aims to work with these people to improve their psychological wellbeing, and their relationships with other people to ultimately reduce the risks of unlawful stalking.

The Southern Health team is working alongside Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire & Isle Of Wight probation teams and Aurora New Dawn, a victim advocacy organisation, as part of the Multi-Agency Stalking Intervention Programme (MASIP).

Dr Kirsty Butcher, clinical lead for the new mental health service, said: “The Recolo Project is a really exciting new service that can help people in a number of ways, from initial assessment to a range of psychological and occupational therapies.

“Our team will also advise individuals about other services and support available to them.

“The end goal is changing negative and sometimes harmful behaviours, which will improve both their lives and importantly those of the people they’ve become fixated with.”

Detective Chief Inspector Suzette Allcorn said: “For many years now, Hampshire have been leading the way nationally in our response to stalking, and we launched the first multi-agency stalking clinic in the country.

“The Hampshire Stalking Clinic sees psychologists, psychiatrists, police, probation, the Crown Prosecution Service and a dedicated victim advocate come together to manage the unique risks posed by stalking.

“The Recolo Project will allow us to build on the work of the clinic. It enables a more holistic approach to be taken, as criminal sanctions in isolation may not always resolve stalking behaviour.”

Lucy Kay, from Aurora News Dawn, added: “We thrive on working in partnership to achieve the best possible outcomes for victims and survivors of stalking. Our focus is to ensure the victim’s voice is heard at every level of the intervention, so that they are never forgotten in the process. Stalking is a devastating crime that impacts on lives in unimaginable ways.

“Though we can support victims and survivors in their own safety, we recognise that work needs to be offered to those who stalk, in order to stop their behaviour.

“This is why multi-agency initiatives like The Recolo Project are essential in changing the lives of victims and their families.”

MASIP is an 18 month pilot, coordinated by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and running until March 2020, in which three organisations form multi-agency partnerships to test out intervention programmes with the overall aim of reducing offending rates and so preventing others from becoming victims of stalking.