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E-mail Harassment


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#1 OFFLINE   justcurious

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 01:17 AM

Hi,

I was wondering what is the Police process of investigating an e-mail harassment complaint and how long does it takes to arrest an offender? Also what evidence is required to file such a complaint?


Cheers.

#2 OFFLINE   Matty Hall

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 08:17 AM

First you would need to make a statement and if it fits into the remit of "harassment"

the officer would need to conduct enqs with the email provider to obtain details of the email account the offender is using, if this is not registered t an address then they will need to try to obtain an ISP address.

They could then trace this to a phone numer / address to continue enqs.

However due to red tape, data protection, RIPA etc this can take ages I know from my jobs involving email and phone enqs 6 to 8 weeks is a quick turn around!

Have you considered changing your email address or blocking the offending email address.

also do you kno who is doing it and why,

:)

#3 OFFLINE   justcurious

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 02:25 PM

Thank you Matty.

What protection can I expect from the Police once a offender has been arrested but released with a caution?

What measures does the Police takes to protect the victim in case the harassment continues/offender turns violent? :(

#4 OFFLINE   steve6690

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:03 PM

Thank you Matty.

What protection can I expect from the Police once a offender has been arrested but released with a caution?

What measures does the Police takes to protect the victim in case the harassment continues/offender turns violent? :(


Ideally, you'd want the offender to end up in court, not get cautioned. The court can issue an Anti Harrassment Order which places conditions on the offender banning them from whatever behaviour is specified. It's a bit like a restraining order. If they breach the order they can be arrested and put back before the court to explain why. They could end up serving a custodial sentence for breaching.
If they were cautioned, and then continued to harrass you they could be arrested again and this time they'd be charged and sent to court, possibly after being refused bail at the police station i.e they'd be kept in the cells until their court appearance the next morning.

#5 OFFLINE   NorthernMonkey

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 05:24 PM

Thank you Matty.

What protection can I expect from the Police once a offender has been arrested but released with a caution?

What measures does the Police takes to protect the victim in case the harassment continues/offender turns violent? :(


Matty has pretty much covered what is involved from a police point of view. It can take 8 weeks or so to investigate, it depends how co-operative the ISP’s are and usually a lot more. It involves a lot of paperwork and time for the investigating officer due to the Human Rights legislation that has to be adhered to in the form of Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 200 (RIPA) and getting emails analysed and traced by professionals. Don’t get your hopes up that the person you think is responsible is going to be arrested either. That is for the officer to decide if they think there are sufficient grounds. From experience many email harassment cases go nowhere as offenders cannot be traced as emails were sent from hotmail types accounts from internet cafes. I’ve also come across cases where people have been having affairs and their spouses have been sending the harassing emails from the spouses computer to the boy/girlfriend just to try and get the spouse arrested as revenge so there woudl need to be evidence to prove who was actually sending them.

What is the content of the emails and why do you think it is harassment? Do you know the person you believe is sending them and why they might be doing so?

The police won’t give you protection for ifs, buts and maybe’s regarding potential future conduct of a suspect unless it is a very serious case ie life threatening with credible threats made. They can help out in other ways by perhaps putting a marker on your address to treat all calls as urgent or work with other organisations to help further secure your home etc if your circumstances fall within the councils remit. If it keeps on happening then speak to the officer in case and get the continuing conduct added to the crime report.

You could always go down the civil route of getting an injunction against a person that restricts them pestering you and they usually have a power of arrest attached.

You also raised the point about what if a person had been arrested and released with a caution. If that is the case then the person must have admitted the offence and have no similar convictions or cautions. You could then go to a Magistrates/County Court and try to get an injunction based on the fact that the person has admitted to harassing you. Some courts charge for injunctions, others will issue them for free.

Regarding evidence required you need to be aware that harassment as a course of conduct. You would need to supply police with the emails that were sent with dates & times and email headers so the email can be traced. You would need to keep these on your computer as exhibits too and potentially your computer could be seized as an exhibit and to have it analysed. Provide information about who you think is sending the emails and why you suspect this. You need to be honest about why you think it is happening, far to many people think they can hide the truth from police about things like affairs, involvement in illegal activities, debts etc but it all comes out in the end.

#6 OFFLINE   justcurious

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 10:12 PM

Thank you NorthernMonkey.

Your reply was very informative and helpful. :D

#7 OFFLINE   justcurious

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Posted 22 May 2007 - 01:48 AM

Is there a time limit on how long after a caution I have to get an injunction?

Suppose I want to get an injunction 1 year after the incident, would that be possible? <_<

#8 OFFLINE   Matty Hall

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:20 AM

You really need to speak to a solicitor about getting civil injuctions, they can give you all the necessary details.

:)

#9 OFFLINE   NorthernMonkey

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 09:58 AM

Is there a time limit on how long after a caution I have to get an injunction?

Suppose I want to get an injunction 1 year after the incident, would that be possible? <_<


If you are going to go along the injunction route then get one at the time the matter has been dealt with by police ie shortly after the person is cautioned or charged to make sure the person stops the harassment and you get the injunction whilst the matter is recent.

Injunctions are granted to protect people from harassment. If you leave it a year to apply from when the matter was dealt with by police then what grounds do you think you will have for getting an injunction then? You may only get one if the person is still harassing you in which case you’ll be asked what efforts you have made to report the matter to police. You are going to have to prove to the court that you need an injunction and what benefits it will have. Leaving it a year and without reporting further incidents to police then I’d say you were on shaky ground as it might not be proportionate or necessary to get an injunction then.

As Matty has said, get a solicitor to give you some advice on getting a civil injunction.

Edited by NorthernMonkey, 25 May 2007 - 09:59 AM.