Police give schoolboys stalking lessons to tackle toxic influencers like Andrew Tate

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  • April 24, 2023
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oys as young as 12 at risk of being influenced by the likes of Andrew Tate will receive lessons from police on stalking during a national awareness week.

Girls of a similar age have been left terrified by constant social media messages.

Police have seen cases of children coloured by online personalities such as Tate, who has said women are partly responsible for being raped and that they “belong” to men.

Scotland Yard has partnered with The Suzy Lamplugh Trust who found increasing numbers of 16 to 24-year-olds are contacting their helpline to seek support in how to deal with unwanted behaviour.

However, among under-18s the offence is hugely under-reported with just 24 victims coming to the Metropolitan Police in the past year, 0.3 per cent of total cases.

Specialist detectives from the Met’s Stalking Threat Assessment Centre will deliver training sessions to all safer schools, youth engagement and cadet officers to identify if a potential suspect’s behaviour is obsessive and fixated.

As well as schools, in south west London officers will hold awareness sessions at universities to help students understand and identify stalking.

Detective Chief Inspector Dan Thompson, the Met’s lead for tackling stalking, said: “We know this behaviour is under-reported.

“A lot of this is around making children and university students aware of what stalking is.

“One of the examples given is bullying in peer groups and when that crosses into the criminal threshold. For me, that is when they are starting to impact victims’ wellbeing.

“What is playing out in the youth demographic now is going have that resonance in the future as adults.”


Dr Alan Underwood, a clinical psychologist at the STAC, added: “Currently, Andrew Tate will be one of the people in that influence. We have seen in young people, particularly, he is a source of information and has an effect.”

In the run up to National Stalking Awareness Week, officers from across London carried out a four-week operation to target 240 suspects wanted for stalking offences. Several were arrested for breaching restraining orders.

Claire Waxman, London’s Victims’ Commissioner, was harassed by television producer Elliot Fogel for almost 20 years.

She said: “I know first-hand the devastating impact it can have on the lives of victims, friends and family. Tragically, as seen in many cases, stalking is only the beginning and can escalate to serious sexual and physical violence and even murder if not identified and dealt with swiftly.”

Commander Kev Southworth, the Yard’s Head of Public Protection, added: “The Met’s commitment to tackling stalking in all its forms is absolute.

“No-one in our communities should be subjected to the appalling experience of being stalked. Given the very high proportion of female victim survivors affected in our city in particular, this area of our policing will also remain a central component of our wider approach to tackling violence against women and girls.

“In short, offenders need to know that whilst help is available to divert them away from fixated and obsessive behaviours, ultimately if they do not desist they will face the full force of the law.”

To get stalking advice and help, visit suzylamplugh.org or call 0808 802 0300. In an emergency always dial 999.