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16 November, 2023

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s ‘Just a Kiss’ film to form part of University course on Stalking and Harassment 

Police Student Officers at Leeds Trinity University have been shown the OPFCC’s ‘Just a Kiss’ anti-stalking film as part of their studies. 

The three-hour session served as the pilot for an updated course on Stalking and Harassment, with students being taken through the film in order to help demonstrate how these crimes can escalate, and why police intervention can sometimes be warranted at an early stage.  

In July 2022 the Commissioner’s Office made a successful bid to the Home Office Safer Streets 4 Fund, securing nearly £100,000 for investment in initiatives related to Stalking and Harassment. This investment funded a review by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust of North Yorkshire Police’s response to stalking, which included consultation with victims from York and North Yorkshire, bespoke training for police officers and staff from partnership organisations, and the creation of an awareness-raising resource. 

As part of the latter, the OPFCC commissioned a production company called ‘Rural Media’ to create a film aimed at 16–24-year-olds raising awareness of stalking. 

Rural Media worked alongside the OPFCC, victim support agencies and the North Yorkshire Police Stalking Team to produce a script, hire actors and source locations for filming that reflected the real-life stalking and harassment scenarios taking place in North Yorkshire.  

The film tells the story of Mia, a university student who finds herself the victim of stalking from a man she met on a night out. Just a Kiss was released to the public in October.

Leeds Trinity is the first higher-education institution to make use of the film as part of a university course, helping to equip the next generation of Police Officers with the knowledge they need to protect the public in the future. 

More policing students at the university will be shown the film this week, and the OPFCC would like to encourage any other educational institutions interested in using the film free of charge to get in touch by emailing engagement@northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk  

Nick Wallen, Lecturer in Policing, Leeds Trinity University, said: 

“Stalking and Harassment is a serious subject that has to be taught with sensitivity and care, and the ‘Just a Kiss’ film the team have put together is an incredibly helpful resource as a training tool for new Police Officers. There are a number of different risk factors that we might see in a range of Stalking and Harassment scenarios, and this film captures them all.

We had a fantastic reaction to the video from the Police Students on our course today, and we really look forward to further incorporating this film into our interactive workshop.”

Jonathan Jackson, Associate Professor of Policing, Leeds Trinity University, said: 

“We at Leeds Trinity University recognise the importance of working collaboratively with all those engaged in protecting communities from harm.

The Just a Kiss film developed by the Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire is a powerful tool to educate, support and guide both officers and members of the public to stalking, harassment, and coercive behaviour.”

Zoë Metcalfe, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: 

“Since its public release, we have been delighted with the reception to our ‘Just a Kiss’ film, which we originally previewed at our Violence Against Women and Girls event in July.

The fact that the film is now being used to help guide the next generation of Police Officers through such a sensitive and complex subject is a testament to the great work of both Rural Media, and our partner organisations who helped ensure the film reflected real-world cases of stalking and harassment,

I look forward to continuing to work with Leeds Trinity University, and would urge any other institutions looking to make use of the film free-of-charge to contact my office.”

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