“I woke up in the morning, and he was sitting all night in my back garden, it was horrifying”: The rise of stalking in Salford

Salford has the highest increase of reported cases of stalking and harassment in the past two years compared to all other regions in Greater Manchester, data shows.

According to the Office for National Statistics in December 2021, there were 4,379 harassment and stalking cases reported to the police in Salford, compared to December 2023 when there were 5,345 – a 22% rise.

Salford has the largest percentage of all 10 boroughs, followed by Stockport and Wigan in joint second place with 17% each, while Tameside has the lowest increase with just 2%.

One victim included in the Salford statistics was Inara Dundure, a Latvian who lives in Little Hulton.

Inara Dundare (image by Inara Dundare)

The experiences she went through with her stalker left her terrified.

She said: “I woke up in the morning, and he was sitting all night in my back garden, it was horrifying.

“I put padlocks on my front gate, but that didn’t stop him, he still climbed over the gate.

“When I confronted him he told me to get lost, he just got more nasty and thought he owned the place.”

Dundare originally met her stalker at a house gathering through a mutual friend and he initially showed no signs of aggressive behaviour towards her.

She explained: “My friend introduced me to him and in the start he was a good guy, he talked nicely and behaved himself.

“Then one day, he offered to come to my house for coffee, I didn’t mind, it meant more friends for me.

“Then a month later he started changing, one moment he was talking to me nicely then I didn’t hear anything for like a week.

“Then the next moment, he showed up at my house about 10pm at night, pitch black and started throwing stones at the windows.

“He was screaming and shouting outside and tried to kick my door in, it was terrifying, I was too scared to leave my house.”

The stalking began in November 2020. Dundare first reported it to the police a month later when they took her statement, the whole incident lasted for over a year.

She explained: “It was scary, every time I went out, I had to look over my shoulder and check whether he was there.”

Dundare lives alone with her dog, but has family members in Kent.

She has run the Little Hulton, Walkden and the Swinton Neighborhood Watch for two years.

The stalker lived just five minutes away from her house, and harassed her three to four times a week throughout the year.

She explained: “He was calling me a million times a day, I blocked his number, I had like 30 to 40 missed calls like every five seconds, and he left me with nasty voice notes.”

Dundare is originally from Riga, Latvia, and moved to England 13 years ago.

She said: “I was in the park, and he pulled up behind me and scared me to death.

“He started to scream in my face by saying that I was a guest in his country.

“I think he was psychotic, it was giving him pleasure because in reality when he threatened to report me to the Home Office, he never did.”

Over the course of the year, Dundare reported him to the police eight times and after many warnings, she went to court in November 2022 and got a non-molestation order for six months.

The stalker was not allowed to come within 200 metres of Dundare and she has lived in peace ever since.

According to ONS figures, by the end of 2023 reported cases of stalking and harassment in the whole of Greater Manchester made up 39% of the overall reported crimes in the city, a one percent increase from the previous year.

Jane Gregory is the CEO and founder of the Salford Survivor Project, a local initiative which aids victims of domestic abuse and stalking.

Jane Gregory (image by Jane Gregory)

She said: “One of our cases included a man who was convicted of stalking and assault, but he was continuing to still harass his ex-partner who he was only with for just a few months.”

Gregory explained how she was actually in the house at the same time the stalking happened.

“The man was on probation because one night he threatened her with a hand grenade and was banging on her front door, her teenage daughter was still in the house.

Gregory said the stalker was eventually arrested and was given a suspended sentence.

She added: “This man has made my client’s life a complete misery, she went jogging and he jumped out at her.

“And it turns out that there were seven other partners that he did this to, and the abuse got more violent each time.”

The Salford Survivor Project was formed in 2013 after two women, Leanne and Linzi, were murdered by their partners.

According to Gregory, stalking is a factor in more than 90% of domestic homicides.

She said: “One of our most serious cases included a man who was found hiding near a primary school at the bottom of the street with a knife, he probably would have killed her if one of the teachers didn’t find him hiding. He got sentenced to four and a half years.

“It is extremely frightening for them, out of all the abuse, psychological abuse is the most damaging to mental health than any other that I have seen.

“We’ve had people who were made to take medication, made to feel insane, locked in rooms, and not allowed to look after their children.”

When approached for comment Greater Manchester Police said they are strengthening their system to prevent stalking by adding Detective Chief Inspector Damian Simpson to their ranks of detectives responsible for leading the response to crimes against women and girls. He also has responsibility for dealing with stalking.

The Salford Survivor Project helpline is 0161 706 0468, they are open everyday from 10am till 10pm.

Victims can also contact the National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300.

Main image by Matt Brown on Unsplash

Join the discussion

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Articles