Challenges in Policing Cyberstalking

A Critique of the Stalking Risk Profile in the Context of Online Relationships

Brianna O'Shea, Roberta Julian, Jeremy Prichard, Sally KELTY

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter


This chapter draws on two bodies of literature—psychology and information technology (IT)—to examine how police investigate and prosecute cyberstalking. It critically examines the Stalking Risk Profile (MacKenzie et al. 2011) with respect to its relevance for assessing the risk of cyberstalking. It is argued that for police investigators and prosecutors to be proactive in policing cyberstalking, risk assessments need to adapt to constantly changing technology and the implications for technological change for interpersonal relationships. The chapter also explores police understandings of technological advancements by demonstrating a distinction between those who are pre-digital (‘digital immigrants’) or post-digital (‘digital natives’) (2001). The chapter presents findings from preliminary research that involved interviews with police investigators and prosecutors regarding challenges for policing cyberstalking.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOnline Othering
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Digital Violence and Discrimination on the Web
EditorsKaren Lumsden, Emily Harmer
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030126339
ISBN (Print)9783030126322
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity


Cite this

O'Shea, B., Julian, R., Prichard, J., & KELTY, S. (2019). Challenges in Policing Cyberstalking: A Critique of the Stalking Risk Profile in the Context of Online Relationships. In K. Lumsden, & E. Harmer (Eds.), Online Othering: Exploring Digital Violence and Discrimination on the Web (pp. 331-353). (Palgrave Studies in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.