STALKING reports have quadrupled in three years, official figures show.

In the 12 months to June 2018, Wiltshire Police received 2,005 reports from people complaining they were being stalked. Three years earlier, it was 518.

The force said the jump was the result of more people coming forward, rather than evidence of more stalkers on the prowl in Wiltshire.

One victim, whose case went to court late last year, said harassment by her ex-husband had caused her stammer to return.

Leigh Wilson, who pleaded guilty to stalking after the relationship with his wife of two years broke down, snapped a picture of his bus driver ex’s shift patterns.

The 46-year-old pulled up next to her bus in Redhouse and two days later was waiting for her at a Fleming Way stop, got onto her vehicle and began yelling abuse.

In a statement read to Swindon Magistrates’ Court, she said: “I’ve really struggled psychologically, I keep crying and, at times, it’s impossible to sleep because I’m worried he might turn up at work and I’m petrified that he will continue to contact me.

“I felt constantly on edge, my stammer has come back due to nerves and I can’t trust anyone. I’m more supervised at work but still feel anxious.”

Wiltshire Police’s deputy chief constable Paul Mills is the National Police Chief Council lead for stalking and harassment.

He said: “The rise in the number of reports of stalking reflects the increase in public confidence when reporting crimes of this nature, and the work we continue to do to improve our recording of stalking and harassment.

“We take all reports of stalking and harassment extremely seriously and we recognise the catastrophic effects it can have on a victim.

“If someone’s behaviour towards you is persistent and unwanted, causing you fear, harassment or anxiety, then it is stalking and you should not ignore it and think it something you should live with.

“If you are being stalked, I would urge you to please report it to us. We will take steps to ensure you are protected and will do all we can to put the offender before the courts and ensure justice is served."

Call 101 or 999 in an emergency.