The University of South Wales will be researching stalking amongst young people after getting funding.

The grant of £23,657 was awarded from the VISION Consortium 'Small Projects Fund' to tackle the growing and disturbing issue of stalking among individuals aged 16 to 24.

This significant award was only one of five granted out of 73 applications.

The project will be jointly delivered in an alliance with South Wales Police and the domestic abuse charity, Calan DVS.

The rising concern related to stalking has been turning heads throughout the years, with an estimated 1.5 million cases reported annually in England and Wales.

It's further worrying to note that young individuals aged 16 to 24 are predominantly facing this issue, but many hold back from reporting or seeking proper assistance.

The funding will pioneer a thorough research initiative targeting the problem; understanding the depth of the problem, identifying its root causes, and formulating effective preventive and intervening strategies specifically for this age range in Wales.

Principal investigator, Dr Sarah Wallace, emphasised the significance of the study, saying: "We are delighted to have received funding for this vital issue and working with young people to inform our work is essential.

"Research findings will inform the development of a series of resources including a roadmap for recognising, supporting, and addressing stalking behaviours among young people, as well as guidance for support services and practitioners."

The investigation will be divided into two key parts.

The first one involves a rapid literature review to understand existing evidence and discern the best practices used in Wales, the UK, and internationally.

The next stage consists of organising workshops throughout Wales to gather first hand experiences and views on stalking behaviours from the youth, which can in turn promote reciprocal learning between researchers and young people.

Force stalking co-ordinator at South Wales Police, Elinor Spiers-Morgan will be lending her valuable expertise to the initiative.

She said: "Stalking is an insidious offence, that can have a lasting effect on victim survivors.

"It is hoped that this research can be a step in the right direction when it comes to shedding light on young people’s experiences of stalking and help inform future strategies when it comes to education, prevention and support."