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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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If I think that someone else has performed an action which

Customer Question

If I think that someone else has performed an action which has broken criminal law, is it legal to send them a letter stating that I believe they have broken the law, and I reserve the right to refer the matter to the police?

When does a statement like this cross the line from a reasonable statement into blackmail, or anything that might potentially be illegal (obviously something I want to avoid)?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
What is the unlawful action?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They intimidated me into standing aside while they entered my house, and stole some goods which were my property.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Why didnt you call the police?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They were intimidating me.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Yes, but when they left?

Or by mobile?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Its a bit of a long story - all I want to know, is if someone else has broken the law, is it legal to write a letter to them to let them know that they have broken the law, and if they do not return the goods I will report them to the police? I'm not sure how the law in here in England works, and I don't want to be accused of blackmail, as I've heard there is a law against that.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Well, it depends.

Obviously they will deny the fact that they did take this action and they could try to argue that the letter amounts to a malicious communication at least in academic law. Probably the police would not be willing to act though.

In any event, its not a blackmail. If your account is correct then you are perfectly entitled to make a report to the police and so its not an improper means of debt collection.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for clarifying this. Its good to know that as long as I report exactly what occurred, and I am entitled to make a report to the police, then they cannot intimidate me further.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
As long as you make a truthful report there is certainly no action they can take.