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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Neighbour cut down 3 or 4 trees in my garden (near but not

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Neighbour cut down 3 or 4 trees in my garden (near but not forming the boundary) and took wood for themselves - Police say its not a criminal offence? Can that be true?

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : They are wrong.
Alex Watts : If he came onto your land and chopped your trees this is criminal offence.
Alex Watts : It is criminal damage,
Alex Watts : You should go back and insist that it is reported.
Alex Watts : So what the Police say is not true,
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

I have complained to the police who have apparently liaised with the Procurator Fiscal and they say no criminal act has occured.

Alex Watts : The Criminal Damage Act 1971 states
Alex Watts : Destroying or damaging property.(1)A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.
Alex Watts : So it is an offence.
Alex Watts : In any event it does not stop you taking civil action against the person.

Thanks for that. I don't really have the time or inclinantion to chase someone through the courts for damages (,£1,000), especially as an alternative method of dealing with on the face of it to me seems like criminal damage. I would rather the police deal with it and force the guy to pay the cost of restitution. Is that feasible?

Alex Watts : Sadly not, you can't make them pursue a claim.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you?

Understood. We don't actually want him prosecuted, but what alternatives to prosecution are there for the police/PF (apart from just telling us to deal with it in the civil courts)?

Alex Watts : Sadly if the prosecutor refuses then all you can do is go through the civil courts.
Alex Watts : I hope this helps?

OK thanks Alex. That's all I need.

Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:

ok will do

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