This paper examines stalking trends as indicated by police and court data across three different jurisdictions, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. It must be noted, however, that legislation and enforcement practices vary significantly across these jurisdictions, and therefore direct comparisons are not possible. Nevertheless, this Trends and Issues paper is a significant Australian contribution to a new field of research.
The issue of stalking is one that has only recently begun to receive sustained attention, and consequently the literature is relatively sparse and generally rather specialised. To date, the research investigating the characteristics of stalking behaviours, including the impact upon victims of stalking and the attributes of offenders, has been characterised by forensic investigations into the psychological profiles of stalkers, with occasional excursions into the area by sociologists, feminists and policy makers. There is, however, a dearth of literature examining criminal justice system practices relating to stalking. This paper contributes to this very new field of research by providing an overview of current police and courts data as they take account of stalking.