Forcing Police to take action, Harassment, Private Prosecutions
Please do Not answer in Chat mode (compatibility problems)
We have a mentally ill resident who has been targeted with harassment for 8 years. Last Saturday a neighbour pulled out a large kitchen knife and threatened to kill his gardeners who were tending his garden because he is too scared to do it himself. The Council have always failed to take action about lower level Anti-social behaviour targeted at him. The police have failed to take action against the more serious harassment and threats of murder. The latest incident was reported, but the police refused investigate it, take witness statements or even give the incident a crime reference number. They just closed the incident down as "solved". There is a lot more details to this, but no space here for all of it. Complaining to the police or IPCC has so far been a waist of time. "Safeguarding" meetings have rarely been attended by all agencies and never resulted in any action being taken. The police say it is a mental health issue (but there are witnesses, videos, recordings...). The mental health team say it is a police matter. Both point to each other and do nothing.
1) Is pulling a knife out at someone a crime - if yes, what would the possible charges be? Under which laws?
2) Is this a Crime or Harassment? Does action against the perpetrator have to be started within 3 months or, if the police are slow to act, can it be started later?
3) Can we force the Police to issue a Crime Reference Number?
4) Can we force the Police to investigate the matter, take witness statements, refer the matter to the CPS to consider prosecution?
5) How might we go about mounting a private prosecution?
6) What category of solicitor should we seek to approach to address the problems outlined in 1) - 4) above?
The more detailed your answer, the bigger the bonus I will give. Thanks
No accommodation. It was in a public place.
It was in the street, down a Council controlled/gated alleyway and at the front door of the person being harassed and threatened with murder with a knife
The gardeners were seeking to trim a hedge owned by the victim that the Council have stated is his responsibility to keep cut back. The hedge was on the back alleyway side. The Council gave the victim a key to the alleyway for this purpose (and more)
All 3 gardeners and the victim were and remain willing to give statements. The police claim that they have refused to give statements. The police have refused to take statements from the gardeners when asked to do so by the gardeners. The police have closed down the incident without recording it as a crime.
Can you please answer the questions one-by-one
1) What criminal charges could be made? I need specifics
2) There have been multiple incidents. Is this a crime or harassment? Is there a 3 month limit to taking action on harassment even if the police are slow to act (and only act after a complaint or judicial review)? I need specifics
5) What type of solicitor (which area of law) should I look for to undertake private prosecutions and force the police to take action in the case of a vulnerable adult?
1) Sorry, but we will need to be "armed" with specifics when we complain to the police, take private prosecutions etc. What law or regulations etc makes it an offence to be in possession of an offensive weapon? What law etc defines when a kitchen knife is just a kitchen knife and when it is a weapon? What law etc makes it an offence to threaten to kill and what makes it difficult to prove. What does "S4" and "S5" public order [offence?] mean and where what law, regulation, guidance or whatever does this come from?
2) When seeking an injunction under the Harassment Act there is mention that the Judge will only deal with it, if it is ongoing, which means there must have been incidents in the last 3 months. Are you saying that if we do not seek the injunction, but a criminal prosecution for harassment that then the 3 months time limit does not apply?
5) How would I go about searching for a "Criminal Prosecutor" which does private prosecutions? The Law Society were no use - they needed me to specify "areas of practice" etc