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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I have been receiving threatening behaviour from one of my

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I have been receiving threatening behaviour from one of my neighbours who complain about everything. Even my children talking to their friends in my garden. They have come onto my property swearing and threatening us and it was very frightening. On that occasion our babysitter was in the lounge and could not even hear the children (teenagers) who were in the garage talking with their friends.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Have you contacted the police at all regarding this?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have not contacted the police but I do have witnesses to the behaviour of the neighbour.becuse of this I am not sleeping at night and feel like a prisoner in my own home. We have lived here for 10 years and never had any problems, in fact our old neighbours are still in touch,

OK, thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Hi there, this conduct could potentially amount to harassment, which can be either a civil or a criminal offence. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 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 harassment is, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.

How this matter is dealt with would depend on whether the victim wants to take it down the civil route or the criminal one, or even both.

If a civil claim is made in the courts, it must be initiated within 6 years of the alleged act(s) of harassment taking place. The court can make an order instructing the harasser to stop their behaviour. If they still do not stop harassing the victim it would become a criminal offence and they can be prosecuted in the criminal courts. It is also possible to seek financial compensation if financial or emotional losses have been suffered (e.g. causing severe anxiety or distress).

If the matter is reported to the police instead and they take it further and prosecute, 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.

Before the courts or the police get involved it may be better to try and resolve this directly with the harasser. They should be warned that their actions are being treated as harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and that unless they stop what they are doing they will be reported to the police and legal action under harassment legislation taken against them. If that does not help, the matter can be taken further either by contacting the police and letting them deal with it as they see fit, or starting civil court action by making a claim for harassment.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
hi Ben, it says you were unable to call. The number listed above is correct. I am my wits end and can assure you that if I felt that the noise was excessive or was late at night and above normal family life noise I would do something to reduce or change it. I feel that they are just extremely over sensitive and unreasonable. My dogs are not noisey at all and when I talked about it to other people they actually said they had never even heard them bark. The neighbour came down the side of my house calling my children f***ing C**ts and banging on my back gate. This has left my children traumatised. My babysitter (aged 26) usually stays if my husband and I have to go away at the same time. She was very shaken and said that the neighbours did not knock on the front door and she was sitting in the lounge (at the back of the house near the detached garage) and could not hear anything. The neighbours house has been extended which means that their bedroom window is approximately 6 foot from the garage doors and I do understand that noise travels particularly at night and upwards

Hi I think our replies crossed - please see above, thanks

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Should I put something in writing to them stating that if their behaviour continues I will have to take out a harrassment order? I really don't want this to happen again but as I said we are not a particularly noisey household (we do not have parties every week or anything) but at the moment if we wanted to have a few friends round I would be scared as to how they would react

Yes I think you should, at least it sets out your position more clearly and makes it clear that you will not tolerate this, which you shouldn't

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you very much. If it is OK I would like to quote some of the points that you laid out in your reply.

Yes certainly!

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