In the net of stalking: contextualisation, legislation and perceptions on cyberstalking in the United Kingdom

Soroka, Adamina Beata (2012) In the net of stalking: contextualisation, legislation and perceptions on cyberstalking in the United Kingdom. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The real danger of stalking is amplified by the accessibility of information and its flow in the internet, where details of a potential victim are displayed in the internet. It is a by-product of the evolution of the society, which is becoming more and more entangled within the net of online communications. The confidence in sharing information online, as well as outdated legislation and the conceptualisation of cyberstalking as a crime against rich and famous, creates an enormous complication to tackle offences. This research aimed at contextualising cyberstalking and cyberbullying through a comparison with off-line stalking. It explored perceptions about cyberstalking by civilians and a police officer and evaluated the need for relevant legislation in the United Kingdom (UK). Mixed methods have been employed in this dissertation, using an online survey and an interview with a police officer. Qualitative and quantitative data collected were thematically analyzed and underwent descriptive statistical analysis. The dissertation found out that there is a need for more adequate legislation in the UK identified by both general public and the police officer. There was consistency in the perception of cyberstalking by both the police officer and the general public, and the ‘voyeuristic’ nature of online behaviour has been identified as potentially dangerous. The boundary of information sharing sensibility has shifted affecting the dual, online and offline, identity of internet users. The dissertation concludes that legislation, police and internet users need to be up-to date with technological threats to be able to prevent online victimisation and deliver justice, especially in the era of cyberculture, where everyone engages in stalking-like behaviours. The only way forward seems to lie in holistic cooperation between police, governments, internet users, non-governmental institutions and internet industry.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2013 15:07
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:13

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