CUMBRIA Constabulary received fewer reports of harassment last year, new figures show, despite a record number being logged across England and Wales.

Home Office figures show Cumbria Constabulary dealt with 2,396 harassment cases in the year to September 2023, down from 2,873 the year before.

Of these harassment cases recorded in Cumbria, 103 resulted in a charge or summons, or just 4.3 per cent, the same as the year before.

The total figure in England and Wales was the highest since comparable records began in 2002-03, with 271,000 cases of harassment reported by all police forces.

Cumbria Constabulary also received 759 reports of stalking and 41 racially or religiously aggravated harassment.

However, alleged victims said they did not support taking action in 48.7 per cent of the 5,274 stalking and harassment cases in Cumbria.

In addition, across England and Wales, there were 679,000 harassment and stalking cases reported in the year to September 2023, with just 3.4 per cent resulting in a charge or summons.

Detective Superintendent Sally Blaiklock said: "We welcome the reduction in stalking and harassment cases in Cumbria.

"Stalking and harassment is taken extremely seriously by Cumbria Police. It is an offence that causes significant harm to victims and their families.

"We do everything we can to help support victims whilst taking positive action against any offender.

"The nature of these crimes are particularly distressing because the perpetrator is directly targeting a specific person and as a result they can often feel suffocated, anxious and scared.

"We will continue to work hard and do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.

"The force runs a number of campaigns to raise awareness of the types of behaviour that fall under stalking and harassment, as well as to encourage reporting of such behaviours.

"I would ask anyone who feels they are a victim of stalking or harassment to contact the police."

If you are a victim or concerned about someone, contact police on 101 or in an emergency 999.