A specialist unit to tackle stalking has been launched.

The new Stalking Threat Assessment Centre will offer services from different agencies, all working together to combat stalking and protect victims.

The Metropolitan Police will work in partnership with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.

Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick said: "When we think of the impact on victims, violence is the most obvious concern that comes to mind.

“Psychologically, stalking can also have a devastating impact.

"Our new approach to responding to stalking is through a fantastic multi-agency partnership that puts victims at the very heart of what we do."

The new agency is part of the Mayor of London's strategy to tackle violence against women and girls in London.

The initiative will aim to improve responses to stalking across the criminal justice system and the health sector through rehabilitation for stalkers.

The Independent Victims' Commissioner for London, Claire Waxman, said: "Stalking is an insidious crime that can have devastating, long-lasting consequences for victims and their families.

“We know that stalkers are fixated and obsessive.

"This can stem from underlying mental health issues.

"The launch of the new Stalking Threat Assessment Centre here in London is a vital step forward in our ability to change the behaviour of stalkers.

"By bringing together a team of experts from a range of agencies, we have a real chance of stopping their behaviour and protecting victims."