Surrey Police announced they have secured an interim Stalking Protection Order (SPO) for the first time in the county's history.

On Tuesday evening (January 28), the county police force revealed they had issued the SPO against a man linked with "a number of domestic stalking and harassment allegations".

A 46 year old man from Basingstoke was handed the SPO on Monday at Guildford Magistrates Court.

The order prevents him from contacting either the victim of the stalking and harassment or members of their family.

If he breaches this order he risks being arrested and facing up to five years imprisonment.

A spokesperson for Surrey Police described the power of the SPO to prevent stalking in the county.

"Stalking Protection Orders are a powerful new tool, giving police Forces the power to further protect victims of stalking and harassment.

"They were introduced on Monday, January 20, and aim to improve the safety of victims and those affected by stalking," the spokesperson said.

Surrey Police said that the number of calls over stalking they are currently receiving is on the rise, with increasing numbers of cases reported recently.

"Stalking is a crime which can often go undetected due to victims being unaware of the signs.

"Stalking is described as a pattern of fixated, obsessive, unwanted and repeated behaviour.

"If you are the victim of stalking, we encourage you to report to us by calling 101 and always calling 999 in an emergency," the spokesperson said.

The county police force partner with a number of support agencies such as the National Stalking Helpline and they can assist victims get the help they need through those channels.