Harassment by email & the police

Re: Harassment by email. 

Last night had a visit from a police officer investigating an harassment complaint.

It follows an email sent to a work colleague of mine,  has been traced via the IP address to my husband’s account.

The email sent was not threatening or aggressive in anyway nor did it contain bad langue.

It alluded to a relationship between the colleague and another college possibly being inappropriate and made the point of saying phone have cameras and voice recorders. The message was meant as a friendly warning so that the colleague did not get themselves in trouble or wreck there marriage.

The officer said he personally did not feel it was harassment but a complaint had been made and it was being investigated as a public disorder offence. He claim not to be happy with the person making the complaint as it was wasting much of his time. He said he was being pressured to conclude the matter.

I am now worried the police are going to inform the colleague where the message came from and get me into trouble at work possible even sacked.

It seems a total waste of police time. They are coming back next week to interview my husband at home (he was out at the time they came last night) and say if he signs a statement saying it will not happen again and that he is sorry that that will be an end to the matter.

After investigation at home this morning it transpire that it was my 13 year old daughter that sent the email after over hearing my husband and I talking - but my husband will not invole our daughter an says he will accept responsibility if needs be.

Please advise what our position is?

What if my husband refuses to comment about the matter?

Can we do anything to stop this going any further?

Can we stop the police divulging mine and/or my husband’s identity to the person reporting the matter?

Please all and any advice very much appreciated.

Thank you.

 

Hi,  I see other topics left

Hi,

 I see other topics left after this one have received replies. Just wondering if it is difficult to advise me on the issues I raise or should I try to ask the question in a different way? Many thanks.

The person best placed to

The person best placed to answer your question is currently out of the office at Court.  I will ask him to post a reply when he returns but this may not be until mid afternoon. I hope this helps.

Profile: Having worked for Sarginsons as a practice manager since July 2000 I became a member of the partnership when the practice converted to an LDP on 1st April 2009, now Sarginsons Law LLP. Prior to this I have worked in private practice firms for approximately 25 years save for 4 years when I was employed as a software support analyst for a specialist software supplier to the legal profession. Contact lrobson@s-law.co.uk tel: 02476 553181

Thank you so much for letting

Thank you so much for letting me know.

I would be careful about

I would be careful about accepting the blame for something your 13 year old did. Although the Police would probably not pursue it further this would be an attempt to pervert the course of justice and is far worse than any harrassment charge.

If you do not wish to involve your daughter then say nothing. You cannot say it was you and you are sorry.

 

Whether the Police will reveal your name and address depeneds on the overall circumstances, but they do avoid doing so in the main so that there can be no reprisals.

Richard Paremain

Profile: Personal injury specialist solicitor with Sarginsons Law LLP. I have more than 20 years experience involving both minor injury and cases with injury of the utmost severity. This has ranged from the Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster to a pavement trip for a Mrs Gready.I have a special interest in compensation for the Victims of Crime through the Criminal Injuries scheme. 02476521081 rparemain@s-law.co.uk

Thank you for that. I thought

Thank you for that. I thought to be harassment something had got to have happened twice and intent to cause distress must be evident.

here has only been one incident; the email was sent directly to the person  involved and no others; the content  was suggesting the person be careful as phone have cameras and they could be caught out – hardly harassment. While my husband and I are agree my daughter got involved there was no intent to cause distress.  I cannot understand why they are even investigating.

When you say my husband should say nothing, and just apologise for that, would that be not to even admit the email is from an account of his?

Will he risk being arrested and formally interviewed at the police station?

Would it be an idea to suggest to the police we are worried about retribution if they disclose our details?

Many thanks.

 

One incident does not amount

One incident does not amount to harrassment. There has to be a series of alleged incidents, and the law has defined that as at least 2.  So, on the basis of what you have said, no offence    has been committed. Therefore,any action you decide to take can be informed directly on this fact - for example, there is nothing for your husband to admit!

I qualified in 1979 and by 1980 was specialising in criminal work and other areas of litigation I became a partner of Sarginsons in 1983. The firm converted to an LDP in April 2009 and is now Sarginson Law LLP.

Thank you for that. So if

Thank you for that.

So if there is nothing for my husband to admit:

Why are they pursuing this?

Would it be correct for my husband to say "I have nothing to admit" in relation to any questions he is asked? Sorry I'm not very good at this - should he take the bull by the horns and tell them as soon as they arrive that his understanding is there has only been one incident and so there is no offence and nothing to admit? Is there anything he could say to them to prevent the police informing the complaint who we are?

I am very grateful for all this advice - many thanks.

Please :)

Very grateful for the advice already received here, it has been so very helpful. My husband’s meeting with the police is the day after tomorrow and I was wondering if was at all possible someone might be able to answer the questions I asked in the 21st? Really would be grateful - Many thanks x

 

Harrassment

Your husband should listen to what the police allege, and then respond in the terms already mentioned.  I don`t know whether they would tell the complainant or not of your husband`s identity.  Also, just a thought.  Have you considered sweeing if you can get a Solicitor to be present when the police come and see you? You might find that some legal reinforcement might help!

I qualified in 1979 and by 1980 was specialising in criminal work and other areas of litigation I became a partner of Sarginsons in 1983. The firm converted to an LDP in April 2009 and is now Sarginson Law LLP.

So grateful or the advice -

So grateful or the advice - thank you.

Wish we could afford for a solicitor to be present.  I do have a cousin that works as a prosecutor for the CPS but have not wanted to request advice as worried it might be a conflict of interests for her and also not wanting to wash our dirty laundry in front of extended family etc. However, might give her a call tonight as really worried about them arresting my husband and informing the complainant.

Big thank you again for all your advice it is so commendable you do this as a free service - you are all most kind x

Anyone who is arrested is

Anyone who is arrested is automatically entitled to free legal advice at the Police station. If you husband is arrested, which appears unlikely then the Police will offer to inform the Duty Solicitor service. Their services will be free. These are not "in League" with o4r some poorer quality service Solicitor as some people assume. They are the very same solicitors who do the majority of the criminal work in your area and will be experts and entirely independent of the Police.

If you have concerns about what might happen when the Police visit you at home it might be worth telephoning a solicitor just to see if they would charge to assist you and if so what. It won't cost to call them. 

Richard Paremain

Profile: Personal injury specialist solicitor with Sarginsons Law LLP. I have more than 20 years experience involving both minor injury and cases with injury of the utmost severity. This has ranged from the Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster to a pavement trip for a Mrs Gready.I have a special interest in compensation for the Victims of Crime through the Criminal Injuries scheme. 02476521081 rparemain@s-law.co.uk

Harrasment and police

The police can not tell anybody which computer or person the IP address belongs to.  If they do they will be committing an offence under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Is this true? I thought

Is this true? I thought police powers circumvented the Data Protection Act?

Police powers

I am unsure as to what rights the police have, but the point is perhaps peripheral to the main point, which is that your husband is not guilty of harrassment, and if the police decide to arrest him in oredr to interview him, he will be entitled to free independent legal advice from a solicitor. 

I qualified in 1979 and by 1980 was specialising in criminal work and other areas of litigation I became a partner of Sarginsons in 1983. The firm converted to an LDP in April 2009 and is now Sarginson Law LLP.

For the information of other

For the information of other and more advice.

The police did come round on Saturday to speak with my husband. He accepted responsibility for sending the email but denied it was sent to cause distress or harassment. They agreed in was not harassment as only one incident could be shown. They called it first instance harassment. My husband was asked to sign a statement in an officer note book saying he did not mean to cause upset and that he would not do this again. When he asked what would happen if he didn’t want to do that they said he would be asked to attend the station for interview and they would request a search warrant to cease our computers (they were very nice about). They claim the person was the victim of a crime which she had reported and made an official complaint about. They said they had to do everything they could to resolve the matter and that by law they had to tell her what they had found out and give my husband’s name – they also mentioned something about malicious communications act.

So my husband signed their statement. He put to them that he was concerned about retribution against me at work by the person involved and begged them not to tell her his name. They said they would talk to their Sargent but that he had already told them the women must be informed.

When I got into work this morning my headmistress already knew about it and said it had been passed onto personnel and they were taking the matter seriously. She said I was not to worry but that I should contact my union rep for support. This really was a smack in the face as it now appears I am to be investigated at work for something I did not do or know about and my husband has taken legal responsibility for.

Help! Please….

Well, what`s done is done. 

Well, what`s done is done.  Get the Union Rep involved as soon as possible.

I qualified in 1979 and by 1980 was specialising in criminal work and other areas of litigation I became a partner of Sarginsons in 1983. The firm converted to an LDP in April 2009 and is now Sarginson Law LLP.

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