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Protection From Harassment Act 1997

Comment 7th August 2010

This act should be repealed, or, at the very least, heavily amended.

While the reasoning behind the introduction of this act is sound its use and implementation is not.

I know to my cost that anyone can go to the police and make an allegation of harassment against anyone who has incurred their displeasure.  The complainant requires no evidence to support their accusations.  The police will then contact the accused and issue a Harassment Warning Notice.  This takes the form of a piece of paper the accused is required to sign and return to the policeman.  At no point is the accused informed of the nature of the allegation made against him, nor indeed, do the police seem to know what it is.  Nor is tha accused afforded any opportunity to defend himself.  This, in itself, seems an unfair and unreasonable way to proceed.

Why does this matter?

In my own case, when I and a woman I mistakenly thought was a friend fell out, causing me to inform her that I wanted nothing further to do with her, I thought nothing of it when the police turned up at my door.  It was irrelevant as I had no intention of contacting her again.  However, armed with her official sounding Harassment Warning Notice she now spreads malicious lies around several societies of which we are both members, to the extent that I am unable to attend meetings without an escort for fear of further accusations.

This cannot have been the aim of the act.

I believe this woman may have used her influence as a magistrate to obtain her notice at the outset.  Whether that is the case or not, the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 is a poor piece of legislation which has to be repealed or, at the very least, heavily amended.  In its present form it is nothing more than a psychopath's charter.

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