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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My neighbour is watching when I put rubbish in our communal

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My neighbour is watching when I put rubbish in our communal bin and opening up the bags and looking through them. He knocked on my door yesterday to say he had found some cabbage leaves in it which should have gone in the food recycling bin. He was quite aggressive in his manner. I just forgot basically I separate all my cardboard but the food bins are a recent thing and I merely forgot. However I feel uneasy knowing he is doing this? He does this up and down the road too, surely he must come under suspicion as people are now paranoid about identity theft?
Is there anything I can do to stop him ?

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

Have you asked him not to do this?

Is the person under some kind of mental disability?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No I haven't asked him, I did say to him, " you mean to say, you have opened my rubbish and gone through it?" And he says he has to as the bin men do and refuse to take it. I know they don't go through every carrier bag like he does.
I am not sure about his mental state, he is well known as a " busy body" but most people ignore him. I live on my own, have recently been made redundant, hence why I am moving out and can do without the hassle.
There is no statutory requirement to put used food in the food bins although some councils do have their own regulations.

However that is an issue for the council and not for the neighbour with nothing better to do. You might try explaining that to him. Of course, he will not agree.

If he tears open a bin bag, that is actually criminal damage although don't expect the police to be particularly interested because of the very nature of what is happening.

If he takes anything from the bag it is theft. It does not matter that it is put out for disposal, it belongs to you until such time as the Council take control of it. Similarly though, probably the police will not have an interest in that.

You are quite correct, I think you do have identity theft to be worried about although you probably don't want to make that allegation and there is no real evidence here other than that he is behaving strangely.

It might be argue that this is harassment. It must be said that it isn't the type of thing that Parliament had in mind when it enacted the Protection from Harassment Act but if he does carry on effectively appointing himself to police your waste disposal routine then the police will probably warn him under that legislation to resolve the matter.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX it seems a trivial thing to get wound up about but on top of everything else going on, it's something I can do without!
Thanks for your detailed answer, very clear.

Regards Sue
Well, its not the trivial actions that are the issue here. Its the conduct of the neighbour who thinks he has the authority to tell others how to behave.

I quite understand. The worth is full of people like him.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the reassurance
Regards Sue
No problem.

All the best.
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