Harassment

 

Being harassed can be a daunting and extremely uncomfortable experience. The good news is that you can do something to stop it.
 
There is a legal act called The Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Under this law harassment can provide the basis for a criminal prosecution, a claim for damages, or a civil injunction. Injunctions made under the Act are unique because a breach of them is a criminal offence punishable with up to 5 years imprisonment (sections 3(6) & 3(9)). Also unique is section 5 of the act which allows criminal courts to impose restraining orders on defendants who have been convicted of criminal harassment offences. Breach of a restraining order is itself a criminal offence punishable with up to 5 years imprisonment.
 
The most important part of the Act is section 1 which states that
 
'A person must not pursue a course of conduct
(a) which amounts to harassment of another, and
(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.'
 
The Act defines 'harassment' as including causing alarm or causing distress and states that a 'course of conduct' must involve conduct on at least 2 occasions
 

So what does this mean to you?

If you are feeling harassed you should firstly notify the person harassing you that their actions are causing you to feel harassed and ask them to stop. If they do not stop you should report the matter to the police.

If reporting the matter to the police does not resolve the matter your next step will be to use the Harassment from Protection Act. In this respect I would advise that you find a local solicitor to help you with this.

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