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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69538
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have been visited by the police due to alleged damage being

Customer Question

We have been visited by the police due to alleged damage being caused to a neighbour's car of which we have no knowledge. She claims that we are harassing her, however we are not doing this an anyway........She clearly has mental health issues. The police however seem to be taking her side and have also visited all our immediate neighbours, who are all very annoyed about this intrusion into our lives. (We live in a small complex of six houses in a rural community).
The policeman who visited us claimed that we could be forced to move from our property which we own, if harassment is taking place. This has caused my wife and daughter, who was present at the interview, an inordinate amount of distress.
I do not think that what the policeman said is correct. Please would you confirm the law in relation to this, and also give any advice as to how we can deal with firstly, what the police have told us, if it is not correct, and secondly how to deal with the false allegations made by our neighbour.
Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What does she say you have actually done please?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Is this an isolated incident or is this neighbour in effect harrassing you?

How much contact do you have with the neighbour?

Have they issued any formal warning?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As far as I am concerned she is harassing us as we have done nothing wrong, and to have continued visits to our home by the police is not very nice when we are totally inocent of any wrong doing.

We do not have any contact as stated in my previous reply.

No formal warning has been made, although the police are due to return to interview me later today.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
So what does she say you have actually done?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The police stated to my wife that our neighbour believes that I am the person most likely to be responsible for the damage to her car.

On previous occasions when she has called the police she has stated that our dog has been let loose in a public area.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. What is the harassment in that? Even if your dog was running lose how does that amount to harassment?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Our neighbour is saying that harassment is taking place due to the issues with her car, and that she believes we are responsible....which we most definitely are not.

However I believe that she is causing US harassment due to her continual unwarranted complaints to the police about us.

What can we do?

Also referring back to my initial posting what is the law regarding the following:

The policeman who visited us claimed that we could be forced to move from our property which we own, if harassment is taking place. This has caused my wife and daughter, who was present at the interview, an inordinate amount of distress. --------IS THIS CORRECT ? AND DO THE POLICE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY THIS?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Would it be possible to tell me what she is saying you are actually doing?
You keep saying that she says you are harassing her. In what specific way?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Please refer to my previous reply as I have answered the questions you have just asked.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That cannot be the basis of the harassment. One instance of damage is not enough and anyway it is a criminal damage.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Right. thank you.

Please could you clarify what the law is regarding to the following :


The policeman who visited us claimed that we could be forced to move from our property which we own, if harassment is taking place. This has caused my wife and daughter, who was present at the interview, an inordinate amount of distress. --------IS THIS CORRECT ? AND DO THE POLICE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY THIS?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, they can ultimately do that but there is no basis here.
They can get ASBOs forcing people to live elsewhere or stay away from the location of the victim but that is extreme and anyway there is no harassment here.
He was perfectly free to make the point that it is possible but it is not going to happen in this particular case.
It is a case of him giving you the worst case scenario which a police officer will commonly do. The thing to do is not to take advice from the police.
Is that all you wanted to know?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thank you.

Referring back to an earlier question I asked what is your advice on the following:


However I believe that she is causing US harassment due to her continual unwarranted complaints to the police about us.



What can we do?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
How many reports has she made please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She has made three reports and we have had three visits from the police regarding the dog issue, and we have had two visits from the police regarding the alleged damage to her car, plus one visit by three policewoman/men last week while we were away in France, that I have recorded on CCTV.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Making false or exaggerated allegations can indeed amount to harassment. There is clear caselaw on that point. You will find a very informative article on the point here
http://www.1itl.com/news/270/
However, I think the truth is that you may be in difficulty with only three allegations. The leading case involved literally thousands of allegations.
You could always consider defamation but that has limitations because it doesn't give rise to an injunction preventing him from doing this again.
I think probably if she made more than five allegations you would be in a stronger position.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thank you.

Just a couple of other questions related to this..

The police stated to my wife that they have a fingerprint regarding one of the issues with the neighbour's car.

When I am interviewed by the police, what should be my stance on this?

I know it cannot be mine as I have never been near her car, but I do not feel that it should be necessary to volunteer to have my fingerprints taken to prove this. Can they force me to do this?

Can they arrest me or do they ask me to go to the police station voluntarily? I certainly do not feel that I want to go voluntarily as I regard this as an intrusion and why should I have to do this.

I would appreciate your advice on the above.

Thank you.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, if you didn't touch it then it cannot be yours. They may well have prints but it is not going to link to you.
If they arrest you then they can take your prints voluntarily and if there is a print on the car then they will have the power to take yours by one power or another.
They can arrest you. There is caselaw to suggest they should involve you in voluntarily but if you do not co-operate they will just arrest you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Do you think they have sufficient evidence to arrest me? I do not think they do as there is NO evidence linking me to the damage to her car.

If they do arrest me, what comeback do I have? Can I sue for wrongful arrest, especially as there is no evidence, just our neighbour accusing me?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It depends what her allegation is.
They only need the barest evidence but they do need some evidence. If she is saying she saw you or she saw events that meant it could only have been you then that is enough to arrest.
This is not a wrongful arrest. An allegation has been made. They have to act upon it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok. If she states that she saw me, which would be impossible as I have not been near her car, and I am subsequently exonerated due to the fingerprint not being mine, what comeback do I have? - :

a) against her,

and b) against the police.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, it depends if she lies. People do that sometimes.
a] I think I covered this above? You could sue for defamation which is very expensive.
b] none at all. They have not acted unlawfully.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69538
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your help.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.

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