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Ben Jones
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i have been constantly harassed by my neighbour, over several

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i have been constantly harassed by my neighbour, over several years. it was quiet for over a year and now she has called the police to say I am using marijuana. I am not - never have and want to know what my chances of prosecuting her for harassment.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

This conduct could potentially amount to harassment. The relevant legislation that deals with harassment is The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in civil cases and The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in criminal cases. The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.

Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim. The issue is that you cannot force the police to take any action and they will have the final decision as to whether they believe this is something they can prosecute or get involved with – all you can do is to report it to them.

In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment. The courts would award compensation to the victim, something that is unlikely to happen if this is pursued as a criminal issue.

So in the first instance the police can be contacted and this matter reported to them as harassment. However, they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the victim can warn the harasser that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action under harassment legislation taken against them.


hello Ben,


This neighbour moved in some years ago, and the trouble started straight away. their 3yr old scratched my car with a stone, and they denied it ever happened, even though I told them I saw him do it. I was informed at the time, that because the child was under four there was little I could do. Immediately Mrs Wightman started complaining to our landlord about my cats. Bear in mind that she moved in knowing from our Landlord, that I was in possession of several cats. This is a very rural area, and many wild animals use our garden for their toilet too. When the Landlord reminded her of the factthat she knew I had several cats, she then decided to try a different attack, which was to say I was too noisy. I immediately approached the council and asked them to carry out noise level monitoring, but they couldn't be bothered. I recorded my house with equipment I purchased privately and there was no noise. She then started an argument over the shared driveway. I told her that the gate had always been open and that is how it should remain, to no avail. Mrs Wightman is an extremely large woman, and shouts abuse at me when I walk in and out to my car or shed. She tried to stop me entering my cottage one day by standing with her arm across my doorway. One day, after I told her to leave me alone, she opened my front door (latch) and said I haven't finished yet. I slammed the door in her face and told her I would call thepolice if she didn't leave me alone. Then she went to our landlord and told him I had been the aggressor. Our landlord, told us both that we should leave each other alone, otherwise he would evict both parties. This was over a year ago, and I have had no problems since, until this morning, when she has told our Landlord, that a) we have too many cars b) I'm partying all the time, and c) that she had called the Police because she smells marijuana! I am now at my wits end with this woman - how can I get her to stop. The Police have not been yet - but I am feeling sick and worried again that the landlord will evict us.

Ben Jones :

you cannot force them to stop, you will have to consider the steps mentioned above - you warn her first and advise her you are treating this as harassment and that you will consider involving the police if necessary, or that you would take formal legal action and that is done in the hope that she will calm down without the need to do any of this. However, if this continues you will have to take one of these steps and you may wish to consider the police first as they are at least free, the court will cost you


thank you Ben,


I will make her and my landlord aware of this - harassment issue and I will talk to the police too

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, best of luck with pursuing this

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