Neighbour Harassment

Harassment From Your Neighbour: Part 6

Pages Available:

Article Covers:

- Forms of Harassment from your Neighbour
- What action you can take about harassment

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

This piece of legislation was brought into creation on the 21st March, 1997 and is the major and main piece of legislation that deals with harassment and harassment issues.

Within the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PFHA) two criminal offences are highlighted - these are contained within sections 2 and 4.

The PFHA '97 also gives courts that hold civil powers the capability to instigate injunctions and award damages in all types of harassment cases. Within the Act, this is described in Section 3.

The PFHA 1997 is a 'dynamic act' in the sense where it can effectively cover harassment in any form whatsoever. The act sets out sections to deal with the prohibition and offence of harassment, restraining orders, the act's limitations and civil remedies, and so on.

For example, the Act cites:

Prohibition of harassment

1. - (1) 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 Course of conduct is defined in s7(3) and is:

(3) A "course of conduct" must involve conduct on at least two occasions.

This basically means that the harasser needs to display the harassment on at least two occasions.

Criminal cases often and particularly in the magistrates courts manage one incident. For the offence of criminal harassment to be proved, the court (and where appropriately the Police) will have to be satisfied that the act (the 'conduct') of actual harassment happened on a minimum amount of two separate occasions.

Despite the fact that 'course of conduct' has to contain at least two incidents, there is no specification that incidents must have occurred at the same time.

e.g. Your neighbour threatened to steal your car on a particular day, but then proceeded to deliberately vandalise your garden two days later. Even though the 'course of conduct' is totally different in each of these circumstances it is still valid and involves the minimum of two incidents.

So, it is vital to report any instances of harassment, whether or not you have proof to your Local Police so they can consider further action if necessary and if possible. This could result in your neighbour where they are harassing you, being detained/arrested for the acts of harassment.