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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Do abusive emails have to be generated in the UK before the

Resolved Question:

Do abusive emails have to be generated in the UK before the police can take action?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

It is not so much a case that the police cannot take action but they won’t.

Unless there is danger to life or limb, they will not get involved.

There is nothing to stop you making a civil application for an injunction to prevent further contact however whether the emails emanate from Switzerland or Scotland.

You will need a physical land address in order to serve documents which would need to be served at the address both in Scotland and Switzerland.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive.

The thread remains open for further exchanges.

Best wishes.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I don't understand why the police feel able to ignore a request for help when the perpetrator is clearly breaking the law and there has been so much publicity around on line abuse and the consequences for the mental health, and perhaps physical well being of the victim.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

The police simply do not have the resource to deal with international issues unless life is at threat.

If the culprit was in the UK, and you had an address,the situation will be completely different.

You can always contact the police in the country where the culprit is.

By all means make a complaint to the chief constable but I cannot see going anywhere.

I'm not a policeman remember, I'm just telling you what will happen.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I quite understand - but my original question was whether the police were powerless to act if the perpetrator was in another country, which is what I'd been told. This seemed a nonsense to me though I appreciate that the expenditure of resources would not be justified in a relatively trivial case like this. I may have to apply for an interdict (I'm in Scotland) but have hesitated as this man has a diagnosed psychopathic personality disorder and I have been concerned about provoking a more extreme reaction. You have confirmed my initial impression, formed three years ago when the perpetrator was living quite close to me, that the police would take an interest after a physical attack had taken place, rather than intervene to prevent it.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

The police are not powerless. They just choose not to exercise the power because the cost of doing so would be disproportionate to the problem.

The threat of legal action can provoke a more extreme reaction in which case you would make an emergency application to court and if the injunction was breached further, he would be arrested. The difficulty you have of course is the multi national jurisdictional nature of this.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8969
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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