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Level 4 abetting

Some states allow a defense of abandonment or withdrawal for an individual charged with aiding and abetting. For instance, in California, a defendant may be found not guilty if he can establish that he notified everyone else involved in the crime that he was no longer participating in the crime and that he did everything reasonably within his power to prevent the crime from being committed, such as reporting the planned crime to the police.

Last updated April Criminal Law Contents. Elements of Aiding and Abetting A charge of aiding and abetting has three requirements. Punishment In most states, accessories face lesser punishment than principals for crimes that are committed. Criminal Law. Aggravating and Mitigating Factors.

Types of Bail. Bail Algorithms. Bail Schedules. Bail While Pursuing an Appeal. Bail Bond Agents and Bounty Hunters. Release on Own Recognizance. Restitution for Crime Victims. Reasons to Accept a Plea Bargain. Withdrawing a Guilty Plea. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in Plea Bargaining. How Judges Review Plea Bargains.

Finalizing a Plea Bargain. Immunity for Testimony. Offense Classification. Imperfect Self-Defense. Admissibilty of Evidence. Criminal Appeals. Motions for a New Trial. Competency to Stand Trial. Judgments of Acquittal. Miranda Rights. Right to an Attorney.

The Right to a Public Defender. The Constitutional Right to Silence. Custodial Interrogation. Involuntary Confessions. Waiver of Miranda Rights. Using Post-Arrest Silence at Trial. Miranda Rights for Students. Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule. Police Stops on the Street. Right to Record Police Officers. Arrests and Arrest Warrants. Use of Force in Resisting Arrest.

Timely Arrests. Probable Cause and Probable Cause Hearings. Other Constitutional Rights. Right to a Speedy Trial. Right to a Public Trial. Double Jeopardy. Discovery in Criminal Cases. Interviewing Prosecution Witnesses. Preserving Evidence. Hearsay in Criminal Cases.

Stages of a Criminal Case. Stages of a Criminal Trial. Search Warrant Requirement. Search and Seizure Rules. Consent to a Search. Consent to Home Searches. Car Searches. Searches Incident to Arrest. The Good-Faith Exception. The Patriot Act. The Knock-Notice Rule. Search Warrants. Types of Criminal Offenses -. Drug Crimes. Drug Manufacturing. Drug Possession. Drug Trafficking. Medical Marijuana. Drug Laws. Felony Murder. First-Degree Murder. Involuntary Manslaughter.

Second-Degree Murder. Vehicular Homicide. Voluntary Manslaughter. Aiding and Abetting. Federal Crimes. Juvenile Crimes. If on the trial on indictment of a person charged with an offence under this section the jury find the person not guilty of the offence charged, they may find the person guilty of an offence under section 2 or 2A.

The first defence is that the course of conduct was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime. It is possible that it could be raised as by individuals such as investigative journalists or Neighbourhood Watch members who claim that their activities are for the purpose of detecting or preventing crime.

In Hayes v Willoughby [] UKSC 17 a civil case , the issue arose as to what action could be defended on the ground that the alleged harasser was engaged in the prevention or detection of crime. The second defence to sections 2 and 4 states that the course of conduct was pursued under any enactment or rule of law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under the enactment.

This most obviously applies to companies acting within their legal entitlement, for example, a Building Society manager warning in writing of repossession proceedings, because of default in mortgage payments, followed by repossession taking place.

The third defence to section 2 is that the defendant was acting reasonably in the particular circumstances. This is a wide defence, which covers the pursuit of a legitimate trade or profession. Ultimately, the decision as to what amounts to reasonable behaviour will rest with the courts.

Section 7 defines a course of conduct as being on at least two occasions. Harassment is not defined but includes conduct causing alarm or distress. It is confirmed as including speech. The PHA does not specify what period of time should elapse between occasions.

Arguably, therefore, so long as the behaviour complained of ceased, even for a short period of time, and then resumed either in the same or a different form, this can form a course of conduct. Acts might be some distance apart, and yet still constitute a course of conduct. Each case will fall to be determined on its own facts. Section 7 3A provides that conduct by one person shall also be taken to be conduct by another if the other has aided, abetted, counselled or procured the conduct.

It makes it clear that a campaign of collective harassment by two or more people can amount to a "course of conduct". It also confirms that one person can pursue a course of conduct by committing one act personally and arranging for another person to commit another act. If there are only two incidents and a long period between them, the less likely it is that they will be accepted by a court as amounting to a course of conduct. In the case of Pratt v DPP [] EWHC , the Administrative Court held that two incidents almost 3 months apart were "close to the line" but nevertheless sufficient to establish a course of conduct.

However, the courts have ruled that it is not just the number of incidents which make up a course of conduct, but whether those incidents could be said to be so connected in type and context as to justify the conclusion that they could amount to a course of conduct see Lau v DPP [] Crim.

It is necessary to prove that the conduct is unacceptable to a degree which would sustain criminal liability, and also must be oppressive R v Curtis [] EWCA The prosecution in this case relied on a series of spontaneous outbursts of bad temper and bad behaviour, with aggression on both sides, between partners during the time they cohabited. These were interspersed with considerable periods of affectionate life. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal against conviction on the basis that the trial judge had not directed the jury that the course of conduct had to amount to harassment and that the facts of the case, largely undisputed by the defendant, did not establish a nexus between the incidents.

There is no specific requirement that the activity making up a course of conduct should be of the same nature. Therefore different types of behaviour by a person such as making a telephone call on one occasion and damaging the victim's property on another may suffice, provided that the prosecution can also show that there was a common intent to persuade the victims or any other person to do something or not to do something they were entitled to do.

It may often not be immediately apparent that separate incidents are connected as a course of conduct. It is therefore important that officers are alert to the possibility that such incidents could form part of a course of conduct and to take this into account during the investigation of each incident - making whatever inquiries seem appropriate to determine whether the incident is in fact part of a course of conduct.

Police will need to ensure that accurate records are kept of each incident. If an earlier incident is charged under other legislation for example, a breach of the peace or an offence contrary to section 5 of the Public Order Act , and a subsequent incident establishes a course of conduct, it may be advisable to withdraw the earlier charge and to substitute a charge under the PHA, covering both incidents.

Difficulties will arise if an earlier incident has resulted in a conviction. It is unlikely that the courts will allow incidents that have already been dealt with to form part of a subsequent offence, given the doctrines of autrefois acquit and convict. Similarly, where a defendant has been cautioned, care should be taken before going behind the caution and charging that incident as part of a course of conduct.

This may constitute an abuse of process. The stalking offences came into force on 25 November Prosecutors should note that any incidents which form part of a course of conduct that took place prior to this date can not be included in a stalking charge. This is because the Stalking legislation is not retrospective.

Where there is a course of conduct commencing before 25 November and continuing after that date, it may be appropriate for prosecutors to consider section 2 and section 4 offences. However, if a course of conduct which began prior to 25 November reflects a serious case of stalking, and there are sufficient further incidents after 25 November which can be used to establish a stalking charge, then consideration should be given to charging a stalking offence and introducing conduct prior to 25 November as Bad Character Evidence.

In order to protect the activities of the security forces, and those investigating serious crime, under section 12, the Secretary of State may issue a certificate to the effect that the behaviour complained of was done in relation to:. Such a certificate is conclusive evidence that the PHA does not apply to the conduct of a person on a specified occasion.

This will prevent surveillance targets from taking out private prosecutions in order to expose those keeping surveillance, should such prosecutions get as far as trial without being taken over and discontinued by the CPS. It is hard to envisage circumstances where a prosecution resulting from a police charge will result in the need for such a certificate.

As certificates are issued by the Secretary of State, they can be expected to relate only to high level operations concerning terrorism or very serious crime. It is not thought likely that such certificates will be issued in relation to the activities of specialist police units. It is important to note that matters said to constitute the course of conduct amounting to harassment must be properly particularised in the information laid or in the indictment C v CPS EWHC While a course of conduct requires behaviour on at least two occasions, Prosecutors should note that when drafting an indictment for an either way stalking or harassment charge, the following should be borne in mind:.

In terms of selecting charges it is important for prosecutors to understand the difference between persons who are stalked and those who are harassed; in some cases the distinction between a stalked victim and a harassed person will not be clear cut and both definitions could easily be applied. Prosecutors should consider the full ambit of criminal offending when drafting charges. Primary consideration should be given, when drafting charges, to ensuring that the court has adequate sentencing powers to deal with a defendant in light of the offending behaviour.

The Code for Crown Prosecutors also states that charges should be selected which enable clear presentation of the case. Where there is a choice of charges between harassment and stalking, prosecutors should consider the following principles before selecting correct charge:. Each case needs to be considered on its own facts and its own merits, but where the course of conduct involves significant elements of stalking behaviour, a charge under section 2A or section 4A should be the starting point.

The crucial difference between the current offence under section 4 and the new offence under section 4A is that the latter introduces an additional element, namely that the defendant's offending behaviour causes a victim "serious alarm or distress that has a substantial adverse effect on their usual day-to-day activities".

One of the reasons for this introduction was to address victims' concerns that there was a lacuna in the current offence, i. In this circumstance the police and prosecutors could only consider a section 2 summary offence. It is envisaged that the additional element in the new section 4A offence will enable cases to be prosecuted when the defendant's behaviour falls short of fear of violence.

Prosecutors should therefore examine the end situation in terms of the impact on the victim to determine whether someone has been stalked or harassed. A detailed statement from the victim in addition to a Victim Impact Statement should be requested from the police in order to determine the right charge. The following case studies are examples of when it might be appropriate to prosecute a defendant for harassment or stalking. Any charging decision will depend on the particular facts unique to the case and each should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The victim is in her 80's and suffers from a disability which causes her to walk with a limp. The defendant Rex and his family who live down the street from her, constantly mock her at her disability. When she was walking past the house, the defendant made fun of how slow she walks and started following her very closely up the street laughing at her.

The victim felt distressed A few days later someone banged on her door for 5 minutes very loudly and she could hear a male laughing and saw it was Rex standing outside her door. He has since followed her making fun of her age and mobility problems on two further occasions when she has walked past the house.

She feels very intimidated by Rex's behaviour and is starting to feel trapped in her home. She is scared that if she reports Rex to the police, his family will make more trouble for her. In this case a section 2 charge is appropriate as there is a course of conduct, the course of conduct shows a number of incidents which can be described as harassment, causing the victim alarm or distress.

This is also a disability crime as there is hostility based on the victim's disability. It is an aggravating factor under Section of the Criminal Justice Act , allowing a heavier tariff to be used in sentencing than the crime might draw without the hate elements. A woman walks past a man as she leaves work and recognises him as an old work colleague. He stops her and says hello and states that he is just visiting some old colleagues. Two days later the woman sees the same man standing outside her house for ten minutes, hiding behind the hedge but runs off when she approaches him.

The woman's friend is visiting and says that she passed a strange man sitting in a car outside her house. The woman states that this might be someone she used to work with. She explains that she bumped in to him at work a couple of weeks ago and since then has seen him 4 or 5 times standing outside her house in the evening and watching her.

The woman has become nervous and anxious and begins resorting to locking up all the windows and doors and keeps on checking a number of times. The friend suggests he may be living close by but the woman says she is sure he moved away from the area years ago.

The woman says that the man has been watching her all the time and is making her feel anxious. In this case a section 2A charge is appropriate as there is a course of conduct, the course of conduct has a number of features of stalking, and although the victim is troubled by the conduct, this falls short of serious alarm or distress. A young woman had had a brief relationship with a man some years her senior who she had met through a dating agency. When she terminated the liaison by text message, he refused to accept her decision.

He repeatedly telephoned her, stating that they were destined to be together and insisting she should marry him. He sent hundreds of e-mails at her work and personal email accounts. He kept turning up at her door and began following her to work. He contacted her family to announce their engagement. When she still refused to have anything to do with him, his tone shifted and he wrote to her, stating that, if he could not have her, no-one would.

As a result of his behaviour the victim moved out of her address, changed her mobile telephone number and moved to another job. In this case a section 4A charge is appropriate as there is a course of conduct which causes the victim "serious alarm or distress" and the defendant's behaviour has a substantial adverse effect on the day-to-day activities of the victim.

The executive of a bank began receiving e-mails from a woman who appeared to hold him responsible for the failure of her business, the matter relating to a refusal to give a loan two years previously. Her tone was hostile. Over a period of months, her e-mails became more threatening in tone, and she demanded not only financial recompense, but a public apology. She started sending e-mails to his seniors and to clients of the bank, claiming negligence, then persecution and conspiracy.

She set up a web-site, dedicated to her cause, containing inflammatory statements about the bank employee. His home address was published on the web-site with an exhortation that others should use it to write and protest on her behalf. The effect of the woman's behaviours caused serious distress to the extent that the victim went on stress leave and was prescribed medication.

When assessing the acceptability of a plea to harassment when stalking has been charged, prosecutors should always consider what pleas best reflect the totality of the offending and the overall impact on the victim. Rather than looking at particular incidents of stalking, prosecutors should note that it is the cumulative effect of the stalking behaviour on the victim which should be assessed. If a plea to harassment is offered when the defendant has been charged with stalking, as a starting point, the victim's view must be considered.

Prosecutors should bear in mind the fact that defendants will often seek to minimise the offence or give mitigation for their offence or seek to avoid the "stigma" of being labelled as a stalker. In general, we should proceed on the basis that if the behaviour is clearly indicative of stalking, then that is the appropriate charge and should not accept a plea to harassment simply out of expediency.

Since the correct application of a restraining order can be a significant part in managing the risks to a victim and in preventing further harassment, the investigating officer should provide information about possible conditions for an order as soon as possible.

Prosecutors should also ensure, as part of reviewing the case, that a victim's view on a restraining order is sought from the outset. Restraining orders should be drafted to meet the particular risks presented in each case and should not be a repetition of routine clauses. One issue to be addressed is whether or not it is safe to include the victim's address on the order.

Suggested conditions include:. In particular, it is essential that the order is checked for accuracy - both in terms of content and spelling. Where the drafting of the order is incorrect, we may not be able to deal with breaches appropriately. The purpose of the order is to protect the victim or other named person from any future harassment or fear of violence, rather than to punish the defendant.

The order can be granted for a specified or indeterminate period of time, therefore, leaving the onus on the defendant to satisfy the court that they no longer present a risk to the victim. When preparing an order, consideration should be given to specifying the period of time that it should remain in force. The restraining order is imposed at the time of sentence. It is imperative that we are supplied with relevant information such as a Victim Personal Statement or MG6 form by the police in good time for the sentencing hearing.

It is important that the terms of orders are clear, but not so prescriptive as to allow alternative forms of harassment. Geographical limitations, such as staying metres away from the victim, should be suggested with care. Difficulties could arise in proving distances should there be a breach, and harassment may be possible, for example, from metres. Restraining orders should also be considered where the defendant receives a custodial penalty, as it is possible to harass or cause fear of violence from prison through the use of telephones, letters or third parties.

The prison can be informed of the existence of an order by the police. The order can and sometimes should exceed the custodial period. A defendant may seek to make repeated applications for variation of the restraining order so as to continue harassing the victim. In such cases, we should remind the court of its powers to control abuse of its process. Victims should be informed of applications to vary, and asked to express their views and to attend if necessary.

Further information about restraining orders and the prosecution of breach of the orders as well as variation can be found in Restraining Orders , elsewhere in the Legal Guidance. Sections 3 6 and 5 5 make it an offence for the defendant to do anything which he is prohibited from doing under an injunction issued under section 3, or a restraining order issued under section 5. It should be noted that whereas the section 2 and 4 offences require a course of conduct, breaches of court orders require only a single act.

The sole defence to a breach of a criminal or a civil order is that the defendant had a reasonable excuse. The standard of proof, which it is for the defendant to put forward, is the balance of probabilities. The PHA was introduced in largely to tackle stalking, though the offence of harassment extends to any form of persistent conduct which causes another alarm or distress.

Therefore the range of behaviour that is capable of constituting an offence under the Act is potentially very wide. Examples might include threatening emails, telephone calls, threatening letters, verbal abuse, criminal damage, etc. In its paper 'Animal Welfare - Human Rights - Protecting People from Animal Rights Extremists' July , the Government announced that it wished to strengthen the law to tackle campaigns of harassment by animal rights extremists and create a new offence of protesting outside homes.

It also flagged its intention to consider new offences of causing economic damage to the suppliers of firms or research groups engaged in the legitimate and licensed use of animals. The Government sought to capture behaviour which causes alarm or distress to individuals to the extent that organisations, universities or companies are deterred from carrying out their lawful business.

Section 2 of the SOCPA added a new subsection 1 1A to the PHA making it an offence for a person or persons to pursue a course of conduct involving the harassment of two or more persons on separate occasions which the defendant knows or ought to know involves harassment, the purpose of which is to persuade any person not necessarily one of the persons being harassed not to do something that he is entitled to do or to do something he is not under any obligation to do.

Section 7 of the SOCPA amended the definition of course of conduct in section 7 3 of the PHA so that in relation to two or more persons a course of conduct means conduct on at least one occasion in relation to each person. Again this allows a wider application of the legislation in terms of activities carried out in a group context. This means that companies now have the option to take out injunctions against people harassing their employees in the name of the company and will not have to take action in the name of a particular employee.

However, a course of conduct must involve conduct on at least two occasions, and in relation to the harassment of two or more persons, it means conduct on at least one occasion in relation to each person. It is clearly a matter for the courts, on a case by case basis to determine whether two or more incidents amount to a course of conduct which consequently leads to persons being alarmed or distressed. The offence contains four ingredients which need to be proved. A person will commit an offence under section 42A 1 if:.

The purpose of this offence is to give the police the ability to deal with harassing or intimidatory behaviour by individuals towards a person in his home even after an incident has taken place. This means that the police can deal with protestors after the event. This will be useful if, for example, there is evidence of a protest on CCTV but the police were not present, or the police were present and could identify the protestors but there was some difficulty in enforcing a direction at the scene of the protest.

The offence in section 42A of the CJPA might be used where, for example, protestors had conducted a rooftop protest at a person's home. If the police were not in attendance, but the resident had CCTV evidence of particular individuals on the roof of his house, and he had been harassed, alarmed or distressed by the presence of the protestors, the police could arrest the suspects for the new offence.

The penalty for this offence is imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale or both. Section 42A 2 of the CJPA defines persons who can be subjected to harassment, alarm or distress by the presence of others at their home. They are the resident; a person in the resident's dwelling, for example, a child or partner; and a person in another dwelling in the vicinity of the resident's dwelling, i. There is no legal definition of "vicinity" and ultimately it is for the courts to determine what is meant by it as a matter of fact.

It amends the Family Law Act by inserting a new section 42A, which makes it a criminal offence to breach a non-molestation order. The offence of breach of a non-molestation order was introduced following concern that the available civil procedure was ineffective in preventing and deterring domestic violence.

Previously, if a person breached their non-molestation order, he or she could only be arrested for a civil contempt of court if a power of arrest was attached to the order. The maximum penalty for contempt is two years' imprisonment. The offence now may be punished either as a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment, or as a civil contempt of court as before.

Accordingly, section 1 effectively gives complainants a choice on the mechanism by which a breach of a non-molestation order is dealt with. The complainant can either call the police to have the breach dealt with within the criminal jurisdiction, or they can make an application to have the person committed to custody for contempt application in the civil jurisdiction. The two jurisdictions are exclusive and prosecutors will not be involved in civil proceedings.

Section of the SOCPA amended section 42 of the CJPA to provide the police with an additional power to direct a person to leave the vicinity and not return within such period as a constable may specify - which can be up to 3 months. If person does return within the period specified in the direction, beginning with the date on which the direction is given, and does so for the purposes of representing to or persuading a person not to do something he is entitled to do or to do something he is not obliged to do, he commits an offence.

The maximum period for which a person can be required not to return is 3 months. The constable issuing the direction has discretion in deciding how long a person should be required not to return. An example of when this power is likely to be appropriate is where there is evidence that the person whom the constable is directing to leave is also a regular protestor at particular premises and that requiring them not to return for a specified period will prevent harassment, alarm or distress being caused to the resident.

An offence will only be committed where a person returns within that specified period for the purpose of representing to, or persuading the resident not to do something he is entitled to do or to do something he is not obliged to do.

The mere presence of a person in the vicinity may not be sufficient to prove the offence. Section of the Protection of Freedoms Act gives the police additional powers. Police officers will have a power of entry in relation to the new offence of stalking under section 2A of the Protection from Harassment Act The power of entry is exercisable by warrant and will allow the police to enter and search premises if there are reasonable grounds for believing that an offence under new section 2A has been or is being committed.

A constable may also seize and retain anything for which the search has been authorised. The new powers to the police will aid in investigation and evidential gathering for example in harassment cases that involve cyber stalking. It is sometimes difficult to link the stalking behaviour of the offender to the victim without seizing the equipment used to stalk the victims. A power to search for and seize computers or other electronic equipment that may have been used to commit the offence would potentially strengthen the prosecution case.

When giving advice on cases of stalking and harassment, prosecutors should ensure that they have regard to the CPS Policy and legal guidance on prosecuting cases involving domestic violence, the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and the ACPO Guidance entitled: 'ACPO Practice Advice on investigating cases and Stalking and Harassment ', is available at: www. There is not a general requirement for the police to refer all cases of stalking and harassment for a charging decision.

However, many of these cases will fall within the definition of domestic violence and therefore in certain circumstances require CPS authority to charge. The police are also encouraged to seek early consultation in cases which may be complex or involve challenging issues. Given the often complex nature of cases involving stalking and harassment it is likely that many stalking cases will be referred through to the CPS for pre-charge advice.

In cases of stalking where the harassing behaviour is prolonged and targeted and the victim is considered to be at high risk, it is essential that management of the case is carefully considered. Some more complex and difficult cases may require the personal allocation of the file to a senior prosecutor who is aware of the problems that may be encountered when dealing with cases of stalking and harassment.

Alternatively, in less serious cases, advice from such a prosecutor may suffice. It is essential that the victim is fully aware of the decisions being made as they may directly impact on the victim's safety. Early consultation with the allocated police officer and contact with the specified Witness Care Unit are also important in ensuring that the risks in the case are understood, as well ensuring that any further offending reported is addressed as quickly as possible, as this behaviour can dramatically increase the risk for the victim.

Given that this type of crime, by its nature, is often repetitive, it is sometimes helpful for victims to be encouraged to maintain a record or diary of events. Ideally, the record should be maintained in a bound book, separately from personal details such as appointment times and other endorsements. It should also be completed as soon as possible after each event, with all entries timed and dated.

This record could also be kept electronically on a computer and may be automatically timed. For example, by the victim emailing the document to their own email address as each entry is included. Victims should be encouraged to also:. Therefore, when advising on cases of stalking and harassment, even where there has been a decision for no further action, prosecutors should remember to advise police officers to instruct victims to keep such a record.

The nature of stalking and harassment, particularly where the victim has been followed or subjected to periods of observation, will usually mean that the defendant has spent significant periods of time in the vicinity of the victim's home, place of work or other places that the victim habitually visits. It is therefore important that police officers should consider enquiries with neighbours and other potential witnesses such as routine visitors to the area.

Prosecutors should encourage police officers to consider:. In the majority of stalking and harassment cases, there will be some connection between the victim and the suspect, even if the victim is unaware of who the suspect is for example, where they have only briefly met before in passing.

Whenever a case of stalking and harassment falls within the definition of domestic violence the appropriate guidance should be followed. This should occur even when the victim or others would not necessarily classify the situation as one of domestic violence, for example, when the victim and suspect have only had a very brief intimate relationship; to the extent that the victim may not even believe that the behaviour falls within the definition of a relationship.

Primary consideration should be given, when drafting charges or accepting pleas, to ensuring that the court has adequate sentencing powers to deal with a defendant in light of the offending behaviour. It is possible for behaviour directed at one person to harass another - so long as it can be proved that the suspect knew or ought to have known that his or her behaviour was causing harassment to another. Victims may also be forced to alter their lifestyle choices which can include having to move home or job, restricting their social activities or otherwise altering their routines.

Also prosecutors should be aware that restricting the suspect's ability to stalk or harass a particular victim may have unintended consequences. The suspect may displace their attention from that victim to another: for example, where the suspect is motivated to harass a member of a particular profession such as a teacher, judge or police officer, they may direct further harassment towards another member of the same profession.

Harassment can take place on the internet and through the misuse of email. This is sometimes known as 'cyberstalking'. This can include the use of social networking sites, chat rooms and other forums facilitated by technology. The internet can be used for a range of purposes relating to harassment, for example:. Further guidance can be found in Communications Offences , elsewhere in the Legal Guidance.

Organisations such as companies, Government departments or religious institutions may also be subjected to harassment, in furtherance of a political or other aim. In some cases, this activity will include the harassment of individuals who work for, or who are otherwise associated with, the organisation.

When considering such cases, it is important to balance the right to legitimate protest, with the rights of any individual to be free from harassment. Section 1 1A of the PHA would potentially cover a campaign against a particular organisation, which involved actions relating to different members on different occasions.

Further guidance can be found in the Legal Guidance on Public Protests. Disputes between neighbours often include issues of harassment, which may be the result of a relationship deteriorating over a lengthy period of time. Such disputes may include complicated counter-allegations and repeat reports to the police. These may include civil as well as criminal issues. It is important when considering such cases to determine whether there is evidence of a clearly aggrieved party and perpetrator.

There may be different motivating factors which prompt the defendant's behaviour. These could include: revenge; retribution; loneliness; resentment; a desire for reconciliation; response to a perceived insult or humiliation; or a desire for control. The defendant may have a delusional belief that an individual is in love with them termed 'erotomania' , and that sooner or later they will respond.

In other cases, the behaviour may relate to the obsessive preoccupation with a particular cause or issue. These motivations will inevitably impact on the risk posed by a suspect to a victim. Information about the motivation of the suspect is crucial in informing the investigation, the approach to risk and ensuring that suspects are subject to an appropriate multi-agency response. For example, the recognition of an individual's delusional fixation on another person can enable them to access mental health services which could assist.

In 'Study of Stalkers' Mullen, Pathe, Purcell and Stuart provided a useful classification for stalking which is now generally accepted. It comprises five motivational types, that can be summarised as:. For further information on case studies on stalking see the following link: Chartered Forensic Psychologist Dr Lorraine Sheridan - www. The Violence Against Women and Girls VAWG Strategy provides an overarching framework for crimes that have been identified as primarily, although not exclusively, committed by men against women, within a context of power and control.

Harassment is included within the domestic violence strand and as such should therefore be addressed within the overall framework of VAWG. Where appropriate, prosecutors should make links with other VAWG strands such as rape and sexual offences, honour based violence and forced marriage, child abuse, crimes against the older person, pornography, human trafficking, prostitution, and female genital mutilation.

It includes practical guidance to assist those members of staff who are victims of stalking and harassment either in a domestic or non-domestic environment. It includes information to reduce any affected employee's risk by considering:. Prosecutors should also recognise the diversity of victims. Victims' experiences of harassment and stalking may be affected by identities distinct from gender, like their ethnicity, age, sexuality, disability, immigration status, and religion or belief.

Each victim's individual experiences of harassment and stalking will be different, and some victims may encounter additional barriers to accessing justice. For example, a young woman subjected to stalking may find it difficult to report it because she fears she will not be taken seriously because of her age. The safety and needs of each victim should be assessed on an individual basis. Cases of stalking and harassment that fall within the Government definition of domestic violence should be identified both on the file jacket for example, through a readily identifiable sticker, marking it with the letters 'DV' or using a different colour file jacket and flagged on CMS as domestic violence.

Likewise, some cases will need more than one flag to ensure that the correct case handling procedures are followed and the volume and outcomes of such cases can be accurately monitored. There may be instances, for example, where the case also includes racism, homophobia or rape. These cases, together with cases of honour based violence, forced marriage and child abuse should be identified and cross-flagged to reflect this. Recording all of this information enables us to monitor our performance.

This is particularly relevant where historically it has been more difficult to achieve a successful outcome for victims. We are then able to identify areas where improvements need to be made including in relation to victim support and safety. It also helps ensure that if appropriate, an experienced prosecutor can be assigned to the case, and that all of the relevant applications and case handling issues can be dealt with in a timely and effective manner.

Identifying quickly and accurately the risks posed by a defendant toward a victim, group of victims or indeed a victim's family is a crucial step in increasing the safety of a victim. Cases involving stalking and harassment can sometimes mean that the victim is particularly vulnerable due to the determined and persistent nature of the suspect's behaviour.

Prosecutors should ensure that when they are presented with a case either for charge or at court, a full risk assessment has been recently conducted by the police. It is crucial that the police or other agencies involved with the victim or suspect identify all risks to the victim and others which may also include risks to the suspect , and where possible take appropriate action to reduce or remove such risks. In some cases other professionals and agencies such as probation officers and mental health professionals may feed into this risk assessment process.

Information about risk factors can be obtained from a number of sources including police information systems, victims, witnesses, other agencies and people close to the suspect and victim. The victim, although an important source of information, is just one avenue that should be explored. In the majority of cases, we in the CPS will not have information independent of the police that can inform the process. However, where we have obtained information, for example, if a victim has telephoned the CPS about witness intimidation or additional information is gleaned by the Witness Care Unit as part of the pre-trial preparation process, this information should be fed through to the relevant officer as a priority.

In making an identification and assessment of risk, police officers should give consideration to information around:. It is essential that victims receive information on harassment advising them of the practical steps they can take to protect themselves from harm.

Police officers should be reminded of this best practise and any relevant contact numbers should be included in any correspondence. Victims may not know the full extent of the suspect's conduct therefore it is essential that the victim is encouraged when making a statement to consider all potential lines of enquiry. These could include:. Opportunity should be taken to remind officers to signpost victims, where appropriate, through to a specific support agency.

This could include an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser or indeed the national helpline or specific national charities which have been established to assist victims of this type of behaviour. The National Stalking Helpline Telephone: www. Paladin paladinservice. The service aims to provide strategic advocacy to high risk victims of stalking and establish a network of victims who have endured stalking, providing mutual support and empowerment.

Protection Against Stalking www. Network for Surviving Stalking www. Established by stalking victim Tracey Morgan 9 years ago, NSS listens to the views of victims and professionals and uses their knowledge and experience to help others. It works for the reduction, and fear of, crime against the person through campaigning for policy and legislative change, research, training, and advice.

Victim Support Telephone: 30 30 www. Email: helpline womensaid. The victim should be advised to identify any sources of personal information that may provide information to the suspect. These could include mailing lists, the electoral roll, school or work records, internet sites, wastepaper and dustbins. Victims should be advised not to dispose of any personal information or correspondence via a dustbin. Such items should be shredded, burnt or disposed of by some other means which are not accessible to the suspect.

Victims can also be made aware that there is anonymous voter registration available for people at risk. For further information see www. The victim should be encouraged to change their passwords for gaining access to personal information via the telephone or internet. In particular, the use of the victim's mother's maiden name as a verification code for access to personal details should be discouraged. Risk assessment is a process which should comply with any nationally or locally agreed system for example, relating to domestic abuse or forced marriage and honour based violence cases.

Where possible other agencies should be involved to ensure effective management of risk and generic risk assessment tools which are capable of being used by a multitude of agencies that maybe involved with a victim should be employed. The introduction and implementation of the DASH model means that for the first time police forces and a large number of partner agencies across the UK will be using a common checklist to screen for risk.

More information can be found at: www. Additionally, in cases of stalking and harassment the police can also utilise S-DASH which enables them to ask additional questions specifically to identifying high risk cases of stalking and harassment. Prosecutors should ensure that a copy of the risk assessment tool and not just the risk assessment rating is available within the file. It is essential that this is kept confidential and should not be disclosed to the defendant as to do so could cause extreme danger to the victim or the victim's children or family.

In general, where a risk factor is identified, measures should be taken to address that factor. For example, factors relating to harassment may require safety and security measures to be put in place. Factors relating to the suspect may require law enforcement measures or other police action for example, revocation of a firearm's licence.

INTER MILAN VS LAZIO BETTING EXPERT

For instance, in California, a defendant may be found not guilty if he can establish that he notified everyone else involved in the crime that he was no longer participating in the crime and that he did everything reasonably within his power to prevent the crime from being committed, such as reporting the planned crime to the police.

Last updated April Criminal Law Contents. Elements of Aiding and Abetting A charge of aiding and abetting has three requirements. Punishment In most states, accessories face lesser punishment than principals for crimes that are committed. Criminal Law. Aggravating and Mitigating Factors. Types of Bail. Bail Algorithms. Bail Schedules. Bail While Pursuing an Appeal. Bail Bond Agents and Bounty Hunters. Release on Own Recognizance.

Restitution for Crime Victims. Reasons to Accept a Plea Bargain. Withdrawing a Guilty Plea. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel in Plea Bargaining. How Judges Review Plea Bargains. Finalizing a Plea Bargain. Immunity for Testimony. Offense Classification. Imperfect Self-Defense. Admissibilty of Evidence. Criminal Appeals. Motions for a New Trial. Competency to Stand Trial. Judgments of Acquittal. Miranda Rights. Right to an Attorney.

The Right to a Public Defender. The Constitutional Right to Silence. Custodial Interrogation. Involuntary Confessions. Waiver of Miranda Rights. Using Post-Arrest Silence at Trial. Miranda Rights for Students. Exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule. Police Stops on the Street. Right to Record Police Officers. Arrests and Arrest Warrants. Use of Force in Resisting Arrest. Timely Arrests. Probable Cause and Probable Cause Hearings. Other Constitutional Rights. Right to a Speedy Trial.

Right to a Public Trial. Double Jeopardy. Discovery in Criminal Cases. Interviewing Prosecution Witnesses. Preserving Evidence. Hearsay in Criminal Cases. Stages of a Criminal Case. Stages of a Criminal Trial. Search Warrant Requirement.

Search and Seizure Rules. Consent to a Search. Consent to Home Searches. Car Searches. Searches Incident to Arrest. The Good-Faith Exception. The Patriot Act. The Knock-Notice Rule. Search Warrants. Types of Criminal Offenses -. Drug Crimes. Drug Manufacturing. Drug Possession. Drug Trafficking. Medical Marijuana. Drug Laws. Felony Murder. First-Degree Murder. Involuntary Manslaughter. Second-Degree Murder. Vehicular Homicide. Voluntary Manslaughter.

Aiding and Abetting. Federal Crimes. Juvenile Crimes. Juvenile Delinquency. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal against conviction on the basis that the trial judge had not directed the jury that the course of conduct had to amount to harassment and that the facts of the case, largely undisputed by the defendant, did not establish a nexus between the incidents.

There is no specific requirement that the activity making up a course of conduct should be of the same nature. Therefore different types of behaviour by a person such as making a telephone call on one occasion and damaging the victim's property on another may suffice, provided that the prosecution can also show that there was a common intent to persuade the victims or any other person to do something or not to do something they were entitled to do.

It may often not be immediately apparent that separate incidents are connected as a course of conduct. It is therefore important that officers are alert to the possibility that such incidents could form part of a course of conduct and to take this into account during the investigation of each incident - making whatever inquiries seem appropriate to determine whether the incident is in fact part of a course of conduct. Police will need to ensure that accurate records are kept of each incident.

If an earlier incident is charged under other legislation for example, a breach of the peace or an offence contrary to section 5 of the Public Order Act , and a subsequent incident establishes a course of conduct, it may be advisable to withdraw the earlier charge and to substitute a charge under the PHA, covering both incidents. Difficulties will arise if an earlier incident has resulted in a conviction.

It is unlikely that the courts will allow incidents that have already been dealt with to form part of a subsequent offence, given the doctrines of autrefois acquit and convict. Similarly, where a defendant has been cautioned, care should be taken before going behind the caution and charging that incident as part of a course of conduct.

This may constitute an abuse of process. The stalking offences came into force on 25 November Prosecutors should note that any incidents which form part of a course of conduct that took place prior to this date can not be included in a stalking charge. This is because the Stalking legislation is not retrospective. Where there is a course of conduct commencing before 25 November and continuing after that date, it may be appropriate for prosecutors to consider section 2 and section 4 offences.

However, if a course of conduct which began prior to 25 November reflects a serious case of stalking, and there are sufficient further incidents after 25 November which can be used to establish a stalking charge, then consideration should be given to charging a stalking offence and introducing conduct prior to 25 November as Bad Character Evidence.

In order to protect the activities of the security forces, and those investigating serious crime, under section 12, the Secretary of State may issue a certificate to the effect that the behaviour complained of was done in relation to:. Such a certificate is conclusive evidence that the PHA does not apply to the conduct of a person on a specified occasion.

This will prevent surveillance targets from taking out private prosecutions in order to expose those keeping surveillance, should such prosecutions get as far as trial without being taken over and discontinued by the CPS. It is hard to envisage circumstances where a prosecution resulting from a police charge will result in the need for such a certificate. As certificates are issued by the Secretary of State, they can be expected to relate only to high level operations concerning terrorism or very serious crime.

It is not thought likely that such certificates will be issued in relation to the activities of specialist police units. It is important to note that matters said to constitute the course of conduct amounting to harassment must be properly particularised in the information laid or in the indictment C v CPS EWHC While a course of conduct requires behaviour on at least two occasions, Prosecutors should note that when drafting an indictment for an either way stalking or harassment charge, the following should be borne in mind:.

In terms of selecting charges it is important for prosecutors to understand the difference between persons who are stalked and those who are harassed; in some cases the distinction between a stalked victim and a harassed person will not be clear cut and both definitions could easily be applied. Prosecutors should consider the full ambit of criminal offending when drafting charges. Primary consideration should be given, when drafting charges, to ensuring that the court has adequate sentencing powers to deal with a defendant in light of the offending behaviour.

The Code for Crown Prosecutors also states that charges should be selected which enable clear presentation of the case. Where there is a choice of charges between harassment and stalking, prosecutors should consider the following principles before selecting correct charge:. Each case needs to be considered on its own facts and its own merits, but where the course of conduct involves significant elements of stalking behaviour, a charge under section 2A or section 4A should be the starting point.

The crucial difference between the current offence under section 4 and the new offence under section 4A is that the latter introduces an additional element, namely that the defendant's offending behaviour causes a victim "serious alarm or distress that has a substantial adverse effect on their usual day-to-day activities".

One of the reasons for this introduction was to address victims' concerns that there was a lacuna in the current offence, i. In this circumstance the police and prosecutors could only consider a section 2 summary offence. It is envisaged that the additional element in the new section 4A offence will enable cases to be prosecuted when the defendant's behaviour falls short of fear of violence.

Prosecutors should therefore examine the end situation in terms of the impact on the victim to determine whether someone has been stalked or harassed. A detailed statement from the victim in addition to a Victim Impact Statement should be requested from the police in order to determine the right charge. The following case studies are examples of when it might be appropriate to prosecute a defendant for harassment or stalking. Any charging decision will depend on the particular facts unique to the case and each should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The victim is in her 80's and suffers from a disability which causes her to walk with a limp. The defendant Rex and his family who live down the street from her, constantly mock her at her disability. When she was walking past the house, the defendant made fun of how slow she walks and started following her very closely up the street laughing at her.

The victim felt distressed A few days later someone banged on her door for 5 minutes very loudly and she could hear a male laughing and saw it was Rex standing outside her door. He has since followed her making fun of her age and mobility problems on two further occasions when she has walked past the house. She feels very intimidated by Rex's behaviour and is starting to feel trapped in her home. She is scared that if she reports Rex to the police, his family will make more trouble for her.

In this case a section 2 charge is appropriate as there is a course of conduct, the course of conduct shows a number of incidents which can be described as harassment, causing the victim alarm or distress.

This is also a disability crime as there is hostility based on the victim's disability. It is an aggravating factor under Section of the Criminal Justice Act , allowing a heavier tariff to be used in sentencing than the crime might draw without the hate elements. A woman walks past a man as she leaves work and recognises him as an old work colleague.

He stops her and says hello and states that he is just visiting some old colleagues. Two days later the woman sees the same man standing outside her house for ten minutes, hiding behind the hedge but runs off when she approaches him. The woman's friend is visiting and says that she passed a strange man sitting in a car outside her house. The woman states that this might be someone she used to work with.

She explains that she bumped in to him at work a couple of weeks ago and since then has seen him 4 or 5 times standing outside her house in the evening and watching her. The woman has become nervous and anxious and begins resorting to locking up all the windows and doors and keeps on checking a number of times. The friend suggests he may be living close by but the woman says she is sure he moved away from the area years ago. The woman says that the man has been watching her all the time and is making her feel anxious.

In this case a section 2A charge is appropriate as there is a course of conduct, the course of conduct has a number of features of stalking, and although the victim is troubled by the conduct, this falls short of serious alarm or distress. A young woman had had a brief relationship with a man some years her senior who she had met through a dating agency.

When she terminated the liaison by text message, he refused to accept her decision. He repeatedly telephoned her, stating that they were destined to be together and insisting she should marry him. He sent hundreds of e-mails at her work and personal email accounts. He kept turning up at her door and began following her to work. He contacted her family to announce their engagement.

When she still refused to have anything to do with him, his tone shifted and he wrote to her, stating that, if he could not have her, no-one would. As a result of his behaviour the victim moved out of her address, changed her mobile telephone number and moved to another job.

In this case a section 4A charge is appropriate as there is a course of conduct which causes the victim "serious alarm or distress" and the defendant's behaviour has a substantial adverse effect on the day-to-day activities of the victim. The executive of a bank began receiving e-mails from a woman who appeared to hold him responsible for the failure of her business, the matter relating to a refusal to give a loan two years previously.

Her tone was hostile. Over a period of months, her e-mails became more threatening in tone, and she demanded not only financial recompense, but a public apology. She started sending e-mails to his seniors and to clients of the bank, claiming negligence, then persecution and conspiracy.

She set up a web-site, dedicated to her cause, containing inflammatory statements about the bank employee. His home address was published on the web-site with an exhortation that others should use it to write and protest on her behalf. The effect of the woman's behaviours caused serious distress to the extent that the victim went on stress leave and was prescribed medication.

When assessing the acceptability of a plea to harassment when stalking has been charged, prosecutors should always consider what pleas best reflect the totality of the offending and the overall impact on the victim. Rather than looking at particular incidents of stalking, prosecutors should note that it is the cumulative effect of the stalking behaviour on the victim which should be assessed.

If a plea to harassment is offered when the defendant has been charged with stalking, as a starting point, the victim's view must be considered. Prosecutors should bear in mind the fact that defendants will often seek to minimise the offence or give mitigation for their offence or seek to avoid the "stigma" of being labelled as a stalker. In general, we should proceed on the basis that if the behaviour is clearly indicative of stalking, then that is the appropriate charge and should not accept a plea to harassment simply out of expediency.

Since the correct application of a restraining order can be a significant part in managing the risks to a victim and in preventing further harassment, the investigating officer should provide information about possible conditions for an order as soon as possible. Prosecutors should also ensure, as part of reviewing the case, that a victim's view on a restraining order is sought from the outset. Restraining orders should be drafted to meet the particular risks presented in each case and should not be a repetition of routine clauses.

One issue to be addressed is whether or not it is safe to include the victim's address on the order. Suggested conditions include:. In particular, it is essential that the order is checked for accuracy - both in terms of content and spelling.

Where the drafting of the order is incorrect, we may not be able to deal with breaches appropriately. The purpose of the order is to protect the victim or other named person from any future harassment or fear of violence, rather than to punish the defendant. The order can be granted for a specified or indeterminate period of time, therefore, leaving the onus on the defendant to satisfy the court that they no longer present a risk to the victim.

When preparing an order, consideration should be given to specifying the period of time that it should remain in force. The restraining order is imposed at the time of sentence. It is imperative that we are supplied with relevant information such as a Victim Personal Statement or MG6 form by the police in good time for the sentencing hearing.

It is important that the terms of orders are clear, but not so prescriptive as to allow alternative forms of harassment. Geographical limitations, such as staying metres away from the victim, should be suggested with care.

Difficulties could arise in proving distances should there be a breach, and harassment may be possible, for example, from metres. Restraining orders should also be considered where the defendant receives a custodial penalty, as it is possible to harass or cause fear of violence from prison through the use of telephones, letters or third parties. The prison can be informed of the existence of an order by the police.

The order can and sometimes should exceed the custodial period. A defendant may seek to make repeated applications for variation of the restraining order so as to continue harassing the victim. In such cases, we should remind the court of its powers to control abuse of its process. Victims should be informed of applications to vary, and asked to express their views and to attend if necessary. Further information about restraining orders and the prosecution of breach of the orders as well as variation can be found in Restraining Orders , elsewhere in the Legal Guidance.

Sections 3 6 and 5 5 make it an offence for the defendant to do anything which he is prohibited from doing under an injunction issued under section 3, or a restraining order issued under section 5. It should be noted that whereas the section 2 and 4 offences require a course of conduct, breaches of court orders require only a single act.

The sole defence to a breach of a criminal or a civil order is that the defendant had a reasonable excuse. The standard of proof, which it is for the defendant to put forward, is the balance of probabilities. The PHA was introduced in largely to tackle stalking, though the offence of harassment extends to any form of persistent conduct which causes another alarm or distress. Therefore the range of behaviour that is capable of constituting an offence under the Act is potentially very wide.

Examples might include threatening emails, telephone calls, threatening letters, verbal abuse, criminal damage, etc. In its paper 'Animal Welfare - Human Rights - Protecting People from Animal Rights Extremists' July , the Government announced that it wished to strengthen the law to tackle campaigns of harassment by animal rights extremists and create a new offence of protesting outside homes.

It also flagged its intention to consider new offences of causing economic damage to the suppliers of firms or research groups engaged in the legitimate and licensed use of animals. The Government sought to capture behaviour which causes alarm or distress to individuals to the extent that organisations, universities or companies are deterred from carrying out their lawful business.

Section 2 of the SOCPA added a new subsection 1 1A to the PHA making it an offence for a person or persons to pursue a course of conduct involving the harassment of two or more persons on separate occasions which the defendant knows or ought to know involves harassment, the purpose of which is to persuade any person not necessarily one of the persons being harassed not to do something that he is entitled to do or to do something he is not under any obligation to do. Section 7 of the SOCPA amended the definition of course of conduct in section 7 3 of the PHA so that in relation to two or more persons a course of conduct means conduct on at least one occasion in relation to each person.

Again this allows a wider application of the legislation in terms of activities carried out in a group context. This means that companies now have the option to take out injunctions against people harassing their employees in the name of the company and will not have to take action in the name of a particular employee.

However, a course of conduct must involve conduct on at least two occasions, and in relation to the harassment of two or more persons, it means conduct on at least one occasion in relation to each person. It is clearly a matter for the courts, on a case by case basis to determine whether two or more incidents amount to a course of conduct which consequently leads to persons being alarmed or distressed.

The offence contains four ingredients which need to be proved. A person will commit an offence under section 42A 1 if:. The purpose of this offence is to give the police the ability to deal with harassing or intimidatory behaviour by individuals towards a person in his home even after an incident has taken place. This means that the police can deal with protestors after the event.

This will be useful if, for example, there is evidence of a protest on CCTV but the police were not present, or the police were present and could identify the protestors but there was some difficulty in enforcing a direction at the scene of the protest. The offence in section 42A of the CJPA might be used where, for example, protestors had conducted a rooftop protest at a person's home. If the police were not in attendance, but the resident had CCTV evidence of particular individuals on the roof of his house, and he had been harassed, alarmed or distressed by the presence of the protestors, the police could arrest the suspects for the new offence.

The penalty for this offence is imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale or both. Section 42A 2 of the CJPA defines persons who can be subjected to harassment, alarm or distress by the presence of others at their home.

They are the resident; a person in the resident's dwelling, for example, a child or partner; and a person in another dwelling in the vicinity of the resident's dwelling, i. There is no legal definition of "vicinity" and ultimately it is for the courts to determine what is meant by it as a matter of fact.

It amends the Family Law Act by inserting a new section 42A, which makes it a criminal offence to breach a non-molestation order. The offence of breach of a non-molestation order was introduced following concern that the available civil procedure was ineffective in preventing and deterring domestic violence. Previously, if a person breached their non-molestation order, he or she could only be arrested for a civil contempt of court if a power of arrest was attached to the order.

The maximum penalty for contempt is two years' imprisonment. The offence now may be punished either as a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment, or as a civil contempt of court as before. Accordingly, section 1 effectively gives complainants a choice on the mechanism by which a breach of a non-molestation order is dealt with.

The complainant can either call the police to have the breach dealt with within the criminal jurisdiction, or they can make an application to have the person committed to custody for contempt application in the civil jurisdiction. The two jurisdictions are exclusive and prosecutors will not be involved in civil proceedings. Section of the SOCPA amended section 42 of the CJPA to provide the police with an additional power to direct a person to leave the vicinity and not return within such period as a constable may specify - which can be up to 3 months.

If person does return within the period specified in the direction, beginning with the date on which the direction is given, and does so for the purposes of representing to or persuading a person not to do something he is entitled to do or to do something he is not obliged to do, he commits an offence. The maximum period for which a person can be required not to return is 3 months. The constable issuing the direction has discretion in deciding how long a person should be required not to return.

An example of when this power is likely to be appropriate is where there is evidence that the person whom the constable is directing to leave is also a regular protestor at particular premises and that requiring them not to return for a specified period will prevent harassment, alarm or distress being caused to the resident. An offence will only be committed where a person returns within that specified period for the purpose of representing to, or persuading the resident not to do something he is entitled to do or to do something he is not obliged to do.

The mere presence of a person in the vicinity may not be sufficient to prove the offence. Section of the Protection of Freedoms Act gives the police additional powers. Police officers will have a power of entry in relation to the new offence of stalking under section 2A of the Protection from Harassment Act The power of entry is exercisable by warrant and will allow the police to enter and search premises if there are reasonable grounds for believing that an offence under new section 2A has been or is being committed.

A constable may also seize and retain anything for which the search has been authorised. The new powers to the police will aid in investigation and evidential gathering for example in harassment cases that involve cyber stalking. It is sometimes difficult to link the stalking behaviour of the offender to the victim without seizing the equipment used to stalk the victims.

A power to search for and seize computers or other electronic equipment that may have been used to commit the offence would potentially strengthen the prosecution case. When giving advice on cases of stalking and harassment, prosecutors should ensure that they have regard to the CPS Policy and legal guidance on prosecuting cases involving domestic violence, the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and the ACPO Guidance entitled: 'ACPO Practice Advice on investigating cases and Stalking and Harassment ', is available at: www.

There is not a general requirement for the police to refer all cases of stalking and harassment for a charging decision. However, many of these cases will fall within the definition of domestic violence and therefore in certain circumstances require CPS authority to charge. The police are also encouraged to seek early consultation in cases which may be complex or involve challenging issues. Given the often complex nature of cases involving stalking and harassment it is likely that many stalking cases will be referred through to the CPS for pre-charge advice.

In cases of stalking where the harassing behaviour is prolonged and targeted and the victim is considered to be at high risk, it is essential that management of the case is carefully considered. Some more complex and difficult cases may require the personal allocation of the file to a senior prosecutor who is aware of the problems that may be encountered when dealing with cases of stalking and harassment.

Alternatively, in less serious cases, advice from such a prosecutor may suffice. It is essential that the victim is fully aware of the decisions being made as they may directly impact on the victim's safety. Early consultation with the allocated police officer and contact with the specified Witness Care Unit are also important in ensuring that the risks in the case are understood, as well ensuring that any further offending reported is addressed as quickly as possible, as this behaviour can dramatically increase the risk for the victim.

Given that this type of crime, by its nature, is often repetitive, it is sometimes helpful for victims to be encouraged to maintain a record or diary of events. Ideally, the record should be maintained in a bound book, separately from personal details such as appointment times and other endorsements.

It should also be completed as soon as possible after each event, with all entries timed and dated. This record could also be kept electronically on a computer and may be automatically timed. For example, by the victim emailing the document to their own email address as each entry is included. Victims should be encouraged to also:.

Therefore, when advising on cases of stalking and harassment, even where there has been a decision for no further action, prosecutors should remember to advise police officers to instruct victims to keep such a record. The nature of stalking and harassment, particularly where the victim has been followed or subjected to periods of observation, will usually mean that the defendant has spent significant periods of time in the vicinity of the victim's home, place of work or other places that the victim habitually visits.

It is therefore important that police officers should consider enquiries with neighbours and other potential witnesses such as routine visitors to the area. Prosecutors should encourage police officers to consider:. In the majority of stalking and harassment cases, there will be some connection between the victim and the suspect, even if the victim is unaware of who the suspect is for example, where they have only briefly met before in passing.

Whenever a case of stalking and harassment falls within the definition of domestic violence the appropriate guidance should be followed. This should occur even when the victim or others would not necessarily classify the situation as one of domestic violence, for example, when the victim and suspect have only had a very brief intimate relationship; to the extent that the victim may not even believe that the behaviour falls within the definition of a relationship.

Primary consideration should be given, when drafting charges or accepting pleas, to ensuring that the court has adequate sentencing powers to deal with a defendant in light of the offending behaviour. It is possible for behaviour directed at one person to harass another - so long as it can be proved that the suspect knew or ought to have known that his or her behaviour was causing harassment to another. Victims may also be forced to alter their lifestyle choices which can include having to move home or job, restricting their social activities or otherwise altering their routines.

Also prosecutors should be aware that restricting the suspect's ability to stalk or harass a particular victim may have unintended consequences. The suspect may displace their attention from that victim to another: for example, where the suspect is motivated to harass a member of a particular profession such as a teacher, judge or police officer, they may direct further harassment towards another member of the same profession.

Harassment can take place on the internet and through the misuse of email. This is sometimes known as 'cyberstalking'. This can include the use of social networking sites, chat rooms and other forums facilitated by technology. The internet can be used for a range of purposes relating to harassment, for example:.

Further guidance can be found in Communications Offences , elsewhere in the Legal Guidance. Organisations such as companies, Government departments or religious institutions may also be subjected to harassment, in furtherance of a political or other aim. In some cases, this activity will include the harassment of individuals who work for, or who are otherwise associated with, the organisation. When considering such cases, it is important to balance the right to legitimate protest, with the rights of any individual to be free from harassment.

Section 1 1A of the PHA would potentially cover a campaign against a particular organisation, which involved actions relating to different members on different occasions. Further guidance can be found in the Legal Guidance on Public Protests. Disputes between neighbours often include issues of harassment, which may be the result of a relationship deteriorating over a lengthy period of time.

Such disputes may include complicated counter-allegations and repeat reports to the police. These may include civil as well as criminal issues. It is important when considering such cases to determine whether there is evidence of a clearly aggrieved party and perpetrator. There may be different motivating factors which prompt the defendant's behaviour. These could include: revenge; retribution; loneliness; resentment; a desire for reconciliation; response to a perceived insult or humiliation; or a desire for control.

The defendant may have a delusional belief that an individual is in love with them termed 'erotomania' , and that sooner or later they will respond. In other cases, the behaviour may relate to the obsessive preoccupation with a particular cause or issue.

These motivations will inevitably impact on the risk posed by a suspect to a victim. Information about the motivation of the suspect is crucial in informing the investigation, the approach to risk and ensuring that suspects are subject to an appropriate multi-agency response.

For example, the recognition of an individual's delusional fixation on another person can enable them to access mental health services which could assist. In 'Study of Stalkers' Mullen, Pathe, Purcell and Stuart provided a useful classification for stalking which is now generally accepted. It comprises five motivational types, that can be summarised as:. For further information on case studies on stalking see the following link: Chartered Forensic Psychologist Dr Lorraine Sheridan - www. The Violence Against Women and Girls VAWG Strategy provides an overarching framework for crimes that have been identified as primarily, although not exclusively, committed by men against women, within a context of power and control.

Harassment is included within the domestic violence strand and as such should therefore be addressed within the overall framework of VAWG. Where appropriate, prosecutors should make links with other VAWG strands such as rape and sexual offences, honour based violence and forced marriage, child abuse, crimes against the older person, pornography, human trafficking, prostitution, and female genital mutilation.

It includes practical guidance to assist those members of staff who are victims of stalking and harassment either in a domestic or non-domestic environment. It includes information to reduce any affected employee's risk by considering:. Prosecutors should also recognise the diversity of victims. Victims' experiences of harassment and stalking may be affected by identities distinct from gender, like their ethnicity, age, sexuality, disability, immigration status, and religion or belief.

Each victim's individual experiences of harassment and stalking will be different, and some victims may encounter additional barriers to accessing justice. For example, a young woman subjected to stalking may find it difficult to report it because she fears she will not be taken seriously because of her age. The safety and needs of each victim should be assessed on an individual basis.

Cases of stalking and harassment that fall within the Government definition of domestic violence should be identified both on the file jacket for example, through a readily identifiable sticker, marking it with the letters 'DV' or using a different colour file jacket and flagged on CMS as domestic violence. Likewise, some cases will need more than one flag to ensure that the correct case handling procedures are followed and the volume and outcomes of such cases can be accurately monitored.

There may be instances, for example, where the case also includes racism, homophobia or rape. These cases, together with cases of honour based violence, forced marriage and child abuse should be identified and cross-flagged to reflect this. Recording all of this information enables us to monitor our performance. This is particularly relevant where historically it has been more difficult to achieve a successful outcome for victims. We are then able to identify areas where improvements need to be made including in relation to victim support and safety.

It also helps ensure that if appropriate, an experienced prosecutor can be assigned to the case, and that all of the relevant applications and case handling issues can be dealt with in a timely and effective manner. Identifying quickly and accurately the risks posed by a defendant toward a victim, group of victims or indeed a victim's family is a crucial step in increasing the safety of a victim.

Cases involving stalking and harassment can sometimes mean that the victim is particularly vulnerable due to the determined and persistent nature of the suspect's behaviour. Prosecutors should ensure that when they are presented with a case either for charge or at court, a full risk assessment has been recently conducted by the police.

It is crucial that the police or other agencies involved with the victim or suspect identify all risks to the victim and others which may also include risks to the suspect , and where possible take appropriate action to reduce or remove such risks. In some cases other professionals and agencies such as probation officers and mental health professionals may feed into this risk assessment process.

Information about risk factors can be obtained from a number of sources including police information systems, victims, witnesses, other agencies and people close to the suspect and victim. The victim, although an important source of information, is just one avenue that should be explored. In the majority of cases, we in the CPS will not have information independent of the police that can inform the process. However, where we have obtained information, for example, if a victim has telephoned the CPS about witness intimidation or additional information is gleaned by the Witness Care Unit as part of the pre-trial preparation process, this information should be fed through to the relevant officer as a priority.

In making an identification and assessment of risk, police officers should give consideration to information around:. It is essential that victims receive information on harassment advising them of the practical steps they can take to protect themselves from harm. Police officers should be reminded of this best practise and any relevant contact numbers should be included in any correspondence. Victims may not know the full extent of the suspect's conduct therefore it is essential that the victim is encouraged when making a statement to consider all potential lines of enquiry.

These could include:. Opportunity should be taken to remind officers to signpost victims, where appropriate, through to a specific support agency. This could include an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser or indeed the national helpline or specific national charities which have been established to assist victims of this type of behaviour. The National Stalking Helpline Telephone: www. Paladin paladinservice. The service aims to provide strategic advocacy to high risk victims of stalking and establish a network of victims who have endured stalking, providing mutual support and empowerment.

Protection Against Stalking www. Network for Surviving Stalking www. Established by stalking victim Tracey Morgan 9 years ago, NSS listens to the views of victims and professionals and uses their knowledge and experience to help others. It works for the reduction, and fear of, crime against the person through campaigning for policy and legislative change, research, training, and advice. Victim Support Telephone: 30 30 www. Email: helpline womensaid. The victim should be advised to identify any sources of personal information that may provide information to the suspect.

These could include mailing lists, the electoral roll, school or work records, internet sites, wastepaper and dustbins. Victims should be advised not to dispose of any personal information or correspondence via a dustbin. Such items should be shredded, burnt or disposed of by some other means which are not accessible to the suspect. Victims can also be made aware that there is anonymous voter registration available for people at risk. For further information see www. The victim should be encouraged to change their passwords for gaining access to personal information via the telephone or internet.

In particular, the use of the victim's mother's maiden name as a verification code for access to personal details should be discouraged. Risk assessment is a process which should comply with any nationally or locally agreed system for example, relating to domestic abuse or forced marriage and honour based violence cases.

Where possible other agencies should be involved to ensure effective management of risk and generic risk assessment tools which are capable of being used by a multitude of agencies that maybe involved with a victim should be employed. The introduction and implementation of the DASH model means that for the first time police forces and a large number of partner agencies across the UK will be using a common checklist to screen for risk.

More information can be found at: www. Additionally, in cases of stalking and harassment the police can also utilise S-DASH which enables them to ask additional questions specifically to identifying high risk cases of stalking and harassment. Prosecutors should ensure that a copy of the risk assessment tool and not just the risk assessment rating is available within the file.

It is essential that this is kept confidential and should not be disclosed to the defendant as to do so could cause extreme danger to the victim or the victim's children or family. In general, where a risk factor is identified, measures should be taken to address that factor.

For example, factors relating to harassment may require safety and security measures to be put in place. Factors relating to the suspect may require law enforcement measures or other police action for example, revocation of a firearm's licence. Prosecutors should ensure that they have considered this in particular when considering any application for bail or when considering bail conditions. Full assessment of risk, and formulation of plans for a defendant's management post conviction, are likely to require assessment by a psychiatrist or a psychologist using specialist risk assessment tools, such as the Stalking Risk Profile.

Such assessments are only likely to be available if ordered by the court. Multi-agency risk assessment conferences MARACs are meetings attended by representatives of the agencies that have a role in protecting a victim in a particular case.

The police or probation frequently takes the lead role. The role of the MARAC is to facilitate, monitor and evaluate effective information sharing to enable appropriate actions to be taken to increase public safety. By sharing information, agencies can establish a better picture of victims' situations and can develop responses that are tailored to the needs and goals of individual victims and their children.

Safe information sharing also allows agencies to manage the perpetrator in ways that reduce risk. A key product from the MARAC process is the production and implementation of a multi-agency risk management plan. This should provide professional support to all those at risk, reducing the risk of harm and repeat victimisation. The agencies invited to be part of the MARAC process should be any that have a role to play in the victim's safety.

These may include:. After the MARAC meeting a plan is compiled and comprises of the actions that each organisation will be carrying out to reduce the risk to the victim. This information is not linked to the criminal case. However, where material is held by the police as a result of the MARAC that informs the criminal cases or undermines the prosecution case or assists the defence there maybe a requirement for the information be relayed to the CPS.

Additionally, if the prosecutor becomes aware of information that may alter the risk status of the victim, for example, information obtained at court, this should be relayed as quickly as possible to the police or Independent Domestic Violence Advisers. Prosecutors should make enquiries to find out whether any of the information discussed as part of these protection arrangements are of relevance to the criminal case.

This is both in terms of case building and the potential disclosure of undermining material to the defence. It assesses and manages the risk posed by people who engage in bizarre communications or contact prominent people in public life and who additionally pose a risk to the public, the prominent person and themselves. This is particularly so in environments where there are armed police officers. This involves referrals to mental health services sometimes including use of police powers under the Mental Health Act and where necessary criminal investigation.

They can be a useful contact in complex cases. The Cocoon Watch scheme requires the help and support of neighbours, family and relevant agencies in further protecting the victim by ensuring contact is made with the police immediately if further incidents occur. A Cocoon Watch is only implemented with the informed consent of the victim.

In some cases, in consultation with the victim, it might be appropriate to make the suspect aware of the action.

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Others can commit this offence by aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the use The level of conduct appropriate for charges under section 3 will often fall. A prosecution under section 2 or 4 requires proof of harassment. /or a level 5 fine;; Fear of violence (section 4): an either way offence, carrying a another if the other has aided, abetted, counselled or procured the conduct. with aiding and abetting on account of that encouragement: for instance, D urges P to unlawful blood-alcohol levels, suspecting that he is going to drive home.