Police recorded crime data are not designated as National Statistics
The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced in April 2002. The introduction of NCRS led to a rise in recording in year ending March 2003 and in the following years as forces continued to improve compliance with the new standard.
Stalking (8Q) was introduced as a separate crime classification in April 2014, following the introduction of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 section 111. Before this, stalking offences were included within harassment offences (8L).
From April 2018 a change to the Home Office Counting Rules means in a course of conduct amounting to either stalking or harassment or controlling and coercive behaviour this offence will be recorded in addition to the most serious additional offence involving the same victim/offender. This is expected to cause an increase in offences recorded against harassment and stalking.
From April 2020 a change to the Home Office Counting Rules means all cases where a course of conduct is reported between a victim and their former partner must be recorded as stalking unless the police are satisfied that the matter amounts to harassment in law only. This is expected to cause an increase in offences recorded against 'stalking' (8Q), therefore data from year ending March 2021 on, is not comparable to previous years.