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DTMark

Stalking

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This isn't about me. But I've been asked my opinion and so in turn I thought I'd garner some views:

What would you do if you thought you were being stalked and followed?

Some of the details are obscured as I don't want to write enough to pinpoint anything or anyone.

Whenever you go to a particular place, in this case, the car park of a supermarket, the same vehicle (same registration number) is always present. The car park in question is a long way away from home and this is when visiting someone.

Means nothing. Probably staff, you'd think. Must be, for the same car to always be there without fail. It's too much of a co-incidence. Times are not regular. Can be months apart. But then staff would leave the car and go into work. The occupant never leaves the car.

Vehicle in question has possibly illegally blacked out windows preventing seeing who the occupant is from the side, though you think you might know who it is, you can't prove it because you do not know what the person you think it is, looks like so as to be sure anyway.

Car always parked as far from building as possible so you have no choice but to drive past it to get to the exit.

You have to visit this location, you can't change it.

On one occasion you think to pull up next to it and simply wave at the car to indicate you've "clocked" them.

On the next, you deliberately hold up your phone and indicate clearly you are filming them. They do some weird childish "dance" in the car. You can see this from the front as the windscreen is not as black as the sides. You can see the man and describe him.

None of this points to any evidence, does it. So far it's purely circumstantial, even if it is oddly co-incidental. Until on the same day, at another location in the same town, you spot the same car in the car park.

On no occasion does the other person get out, nor do they leave the car - even if they are there for hours.

As above, we think we know who this actually is, though we cannot be sure. If however it is that person, the intent is *probably* no more malicious than simply "watching", and there's a good reason why that might be. Sorry I can't elaborate.

As I can see it, no offence has been committed. What would, of course, be helpful is to confirm that the occupant of the car is who we think it is.

What would you advise the person does?

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If he's there for hours, why would this person think they are being personally stalked?

Because the timings of the visits to that location are months apart and yet the same car is always there.

On one occasion when arriving slightly earlier than the meeting time, just to see, the person was able to watch the "stalker" arrive in time for the appointed meeting time.

If it *is* someone watching, then unless they happen to be there every single day and do nothing else with their life, the only way they could know to be there at the right times, is by knowing when the meetings are.

The sight of the same car in a car park way across town is possibly the strongest evidence.

Knowing about this situation, this is not paranoia and it is quite feasible that they are indeed "watching", though as I've said, I'd rather not go into too much detail about why that is so.

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Because the timings of the visits to that location are months apart and yet the same car is always there.

Check mobile phone / tablet / laptop for tracking software.

Check car for tracking device.

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Those are possibilities.

But, there are too many co-incidences. Unless it's a very long term contract and they have been there all day every day for a long time now.

"Ignore it" is one option. However I don't think it's a good one in case the intent is malicious in some way and not forgetting that they followed once.

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Check mobile phone / tablet / laptop for tracking software.

Check car for tracking device.

Good points.

The more I think about it, there is some evidence which might suggest that planting and/or removing the former is what he is there to do. There is some precedent for this.

I shall establish if the car (hire car so changes each time) is ever left alone for any period of time.

I have a motion sensitive and very discreet wildlife camera which could be put to good use.

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Hire car would indicate more something like DHSS spying than a private dick - unless the private dick was being paid an awful lot of money.

Why do you think it is connected with a friend and not just anyone else?

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My friend is the one with the hire car. So each time he travels, the car changes each time.

The other car is always the same one with the same plate usually in roughly the same place in the car park.

There is no solid evidence that this "watcher" is indeed doing that, or connected with anything in particular.

But knowing the history, and looking at the co-incidences, I believe it to be *highly* likely that it is indeed "watching" him specifically, and why.

It would take quite some typing to explain that fully, and I don't want to disclose everything not least because (genuinely) this is not about me.

Would you ignore? Film them back? Block them in and refuse to move until they speak to you and you can take a photo of them? Repeatedly bang on the window and attempt to intimidate them into leaving? All ideas discussed, but I don't think any of those are the best answer.

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Is it possible your friend might becoming ill? I have known people with terrible paranoia - even to the point it eventually stopped them from being able to continue their job as everyday occurrences like being invited to a, or any, meeting came to be perceived as an attack and they started raising grievances about it.

Humans have a natural tendency to see patterns in things which aren't always true patterns. Also once our focus has been activated - e.g. think if a large white van, and you'll be seeing them all day long afterwards.

If your friend is genuinely concerned and right to be paranoid e.g. child custody situation - then they should report what they've seen to the police, and ask for their advice - after explaining the history.

There are lots of non-friend possibilities e.g. a disgruntled ex-supermarket employee or SS/police gathering evidence on a store employee suspected of doing something dodgy. I've got to say I might get a little agitated or pull faces etc if some unknown person drove up to me and started conspicuously filming. Similarly, playing detective themselves or any of the behaviours you've described could just as easily end up with a counter stalking like charges if the other party is completely innocent/engaged in another matter. Avoid escalating.

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Would you ignore? Film them back? Block them in and refuse to move until they speak to you and you can take a photo of them? Repeatedly bang on the window and attempt to intimidate them into leaving? All ideas discussed, but I don't think any of those are the best answer.

I would 'accidentally' reverse my rental into their car (only to cause minor damage). Then they have to reveal themselves as they have to sort out insurance matters.

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Is it possible your friend might becoming ill? I have known people with terrible paranoia - even to the point it eventually stopped them from being able to continue their job as everyday occurrences like being invited to a, or any, meeting came to be perceived as an attack and they started raising grievances about it.

Humans have a natural tendency to see patterns in things which aren't always true patterns. Also once our focus has been activated - e.g. think if a large white van, and you'll be seeing them all day long afterwards.

Those are reasonable points. I started out with that line of questioning. I am persuaded that this is stalking.

While I can't elaborate, there is precedent for this based on a number of prior occasions.

If your friend is genuinely concerned and right to be paranoid e.g. child custody situation - then they should report what they've seen to the police, and ask for their advice - after explaining the history.

This is it. However my perception was that they would do nothing because no offence has been committed.

Though they could establish who the keeper of the car is and check the last name. Which might very well lend strong support to the theory. I'm working on this the other way around attempting to find a photo of who we suspect that it might be to see if it is that person.

There are circumstances where the DVLA will hand out the keeper's details, but this is not one of them.

https://www.gov.uk/request-information-from-dvla

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It's worth seeing what that police say - rather than second guess. It might be that they can offer advice which doesn't leave your friend open to charges themselves in the future. Or in some scenarios, offer complete reassurance i.e. "Oh yes, they are known to us - don't worry it's not about you" etc.

Personally, I would be suspicious if your friend makes excuses for not doing so, or never somehow gets around to it. Offer to go with them, because yes - copshops are a bit intimidating for the irregular visitor. As above, I've been in the situation where a paranoid person claimed they were being stalked by persons unknown, and yet somehow couldn't report to the relevant authorities.

In such a situation, offer as much support as you are able to but don't get drawn in, offer alternative solutions etc. It could easily go badly for you in a number of ways.

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Those are reasonable points. I started out with that line of questioning. I am persuaded that this is stalking.

While I can't elaborate, there is precedent for this based on a number of prior occasions.

This is it. However my perception was that they would do nothing because no offence has been committed.

Though they could establish who the keeper of the car is and check the last name. Which might very well lend strong support to the theory. I'm working on this the other way around attempting to find a photo of who we suspect that it might be to see if it is that person.

There are circumstances where the DVLA will hand out the keeper's details, but this is not one of them.

https://www.gov.uk/request-information-from-dvla

OK, so I'm not a legal expert on this or anything, but it was my understanding that following someone around, even if not doing anything violent, would be a crime if it could be interpreted as being threatening. Perhaps someone else on here would know more. I would definitely contact the police in this situation.

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I think your friend needs to take dated photos every time and log all incidences for a while first, otherwise police will do nothing, and cannot do anything until evidence is collated so that police can warn this person/persons.

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Is it known whether the other party who is being met is complicit in the stalkers activities ? Otherwise the two who meet could "agree" multiple fake meeting times and the Stalker would eventually get pi55ed off when 90% of the time no-one turned up.

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