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Your Rights Under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 1 Jul 2020 | comments*Discuss
Protection From Harassment Act Criminal

Harassment can cause alarm, fear and distress. Many people who are the victims of any kind of harassment can end up becoming ill, both mentally and physically, as a result. It will almost certainly lead to increased stress which can have a major impact in raising blood pressure.

Harassment can also lead to insomnia, anxiety and depression, poor concentration and can dramatically affect your self-confidence and self-respect. People who are being harassed may take excessive intakes of alcohol or drugs to try to alleviate the problem which will, ultimately, only make matters worse. The Protection From Harassment Act 1997 offers you Protection From this Unwanted Behaviour.

The Protection From Harassment Act 1997

Under this Act it becomes a criminal offence if you:

  • Cause alarm, harassment or distress more than once as a result of an action you conduct against another person. The conduct might be verbal or non-verbal and it doesn’t have to be the same type of action on each occasion – if the person feels alarmed, harassed or distressed by your actions, then it is deemed harassment, even if that was not your intention.
  • Take any kind of action against another person which causes a fear of violence. This must happen on at least two occasions. The alleged offender must be aware, or ought to be aware, that their actions are likely to induce a fear of violence in the other person.

Civil Injunctions

The Protection From Harassment Act 1997 also permits you to take out a civil injunction against the alleged offender, as a right to protection and possible compensation in cases where a criminal prosecution isn’t appropriate or there is insufficient evidence to pursue a criminal case. This can be very useful as it’s often a civil injunction being put in place which will prevent the alleged offender from persisting with the behaviour.

Police Assistance

If you feel you are at immediate risk of violence as a result of harassment, then you should Call The Police. Under The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, the police can force the alleged offender to leave the vicinity of your home or the location where you might be at the time, and they have the powers of arrest if the alleged offender fails to comply with this order.

Dealing With Stalkers

Harassment isn’t always about people wanting to cause harm to another. Sometimes, it’s completely the opposite. People who might have a strong admiration and perceived ‘love’ for another person can end up becoming so obsessed that they might end up stalking you. This doesn’t necessarily mean just following you around or calling you on the phone, but would include situations where they are writing to you persistently and/or sending you unwanted gifts. And, should this be the case, then they are also guilty of causing harassment for which they can ultimately be prosecuted.

Therefore, whether it’s the intention of the alleged offender to cause harm by their harassment or not, or even if they’re unaware they might be causing alarm or distress, it is still an offence under the Act.

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I would some urgent advice about harassing my family and myself the pills have done nothing I fear for the safety of my family
Bailey - 1-Jul-20 @ 9:39 AM
So scared being harassed and watched by my neighbours for the last 3 months.. I have spoken to the Police twice today..And very upset that they are not taking it seriously your comments have helped a lot..
Veryfrightened - 30-Jun-20 @ 10:55 AM
Need HELP!!! I’m being Tortured and tormented by my neighbors that’s using sonic devices against me. I DONT OWN A DOG!!! WHAT CAN I DO??? DESPERATE!
Lee - 29-Jun-20 @ 10:27 PM
I have a neighbour who has a personal vendetta against me and he is trying to get me evicted he is lying and saying I'm noisy all the time and making his life hell I don't even own a stereo I'm not perfect I have 3 teenagers in my house it can get noisy but nothing like he is describing it to be. my neighbour the other side says she has no issue with me. He is putting pressure on my landlord to evict more or he will take him to court I don't know what to do I'm very worried I will be evicted because my landlord has enough of his complaining I've never had police or council at my house. Any advice would be greatly appreciated Thanks
Bubbyd - 29-Jun-20 @ 3:25 PM
I live down stairs from a council employee, her husband and adult daughter.they have made my life a misery since I arrived.they had me investigated for fraud when I was unemployed, reported me for all sorted and now 19 years later she had begun to throw cigarette butts into my garden. I've had enough I am caring for two terminally ill family members which they know about and still it continues.i had to call the police a couple of years ago because they refused to fix a leak that was pouring into my hall and the police took their side because she works for the council.its a living hell
Stella - 26-Jun-20 @ 10:40 PM
I live in an apartment building with 11 other apartments. Inlikenthenarea a lot. They apartments where I live at rating has gone down since I moved in 6 years ago. I’m being bullied by the young couple and their roommates since the day after we moved in April this year. It started with hard banging the second day after our move. I live with my family. These neighbors have multiple people coming and going out of their apartment. I don’t care about that. I complained about the banging and the bulling escalated to power tools being used on the ceiling night and day. I’m getting no sleep. Now they will not make the horrible noises near my family, just me. It’s an older building with thin walls and floors. You can hear someone walking, so of course you can hear a drill pulse feel the vibrations. They know the property management will not do anything about it. My room is over the building hallway and right now they have the drill directly under me in the hallway no one can see them. It also give off little electric shocks that goes directly to my heart. I had am TIA mini stroke 12 years ago and make sure I keep my stress level down. If I bang back it escalates I try so heard not to, but I can take it. Why are they supposed to get away with this. Don’t let me get up and use the bathroom making these thin floors squeak they go crazy banging on the ceiling in the bathroom. I was cleaning the kitchen this evening and they put the mixer on the ceiling at 9 pm. What can I do to move out and not be charge for breaking my lease. It’s escalating so much, they are doing some really crazy stuff and I’m afraid for my life. Please someone send me some legal advice. Please help this bullying is becoming more drastic and they blow smoke into my open window It’s not cigarettes or weed. I don’t feel safe here anymore. This is too much for me and I’ll have a heart attack or stroke because of it.
foxxyj64 - 18-Jun-20 @ 5:48 AM
i feel compelled to share with you my situation that has been plaguing my and my autistic sons life for three years now. i am a nurse and work long hours, i also live in a council property that i have spent a lot of money on, i am also a designer and have created a nice back garden for my son and i to use. new neighbours moved in approx three years ago..on day one at 9am there was deafeningly loud music that wok me up after a long shift at work. it was downhill from there, every day has been awful. drilling at 1am shouting and smoking drugs in the back garden all night.. my son cannot use his bedroom. lots of social gatherings during this lockdown, things being smashed. after sometime i knocked hoping for a solution but i was shouted off the doorstep and threatened, in despair i have contacted environmental health at waltham forest council. they advised me to keep a noise diary which i have completed and returned, not hearing anything about it or what the next step should be. i have approached the neighbours to try to sort the situation out but they called the police.i have had sugar and excrement thrown into my garden and they have had two letters from the council about the noise. i am at a loss, nobody seems to care and i cry a lot. my lovely little home has become my prison. if i dont see them i hear them every day. my son is experiencing nightmares, he wants to leave here. if i am taking every step that i possibly can and they are still turning my life upside down what can i do, some advice is needed.
v - 13-Jun-20 @ 9:27 PM
Since we moved to Our house our neighbouris making our lives impossible . She is making noise in the middle of the night , knocking at walls to attract attention but all this at two in the morning for no reason but the house in the other side as well so much so since we been here living the next door house to her will be the fourth family that they move in let see how long they last with her. She get paranoid at midnight start bunging her entrance door and swearing to no one . All neighbourhood do not like her and we want to get rid of this neighbourhood . She follows all our movements so we do not have privacy in our own house. Any help please???.
Xnera - 10-Jun-20 @ 2:09 PM
Our neighbour has been asked by my partners ex to keep her informed of what goes on in our house and anything about our relationship. She is meeting up with my partners ex and making lies up about stuff. Is there anything I can do about this? Is it an invasion of privacy? Can I involve the police?
Em - 2-Jun-20 @ 4:33 PM
My neighbours have been breaking into our house since upstairs one moved in around seven months ago .Was told I would be set up as a paedo by previous neighbour if I got evidence what she was doing to us.Its her friend that moved above us now our house lock started to get open two days after she moved in.These neighbours have been in and out our property.
Cath - 31-May-20 @ 6:28 AM
The next door neighbour looks into our side windows all the time. She sees who's in the house. We covered our windows to block her view and this made her agree and said just because I can't see in I can still hear you. She as always been very nosey but this is making me ill. I have a brain tumor and the stress makes me have seizures.
Nick - 30-May-20 @ 10:25 PM
There is a man and wife who i no to look at... They deliberately laugh at me every time they pass me and I don't no what to do about it.
Lily - 28-May-20 @ 8:37 PM
Would lieing about your death by convincing multiple mutual friends to lie for you be classed as harassment due to the distressing nature of it?
2009 - 15-May-20 @ 1:36 AM
Help, we had issues with our neighbour he's council, we own. He has harassed our family for 4 yrs. He's verbally shouts abuse at my husband, calls us names, has fires, bangs, plays loud music, stomps up and down stairs, walks past the house in an imtimadating manner, knocks on the walls at all hours of the day/night., has threatened to kill, put petrol in our letter box. Calls the police on us for having a bbq, says we call him names which we don't. We have all our stuff on cctv. But anti social, police and housing dismiss it all because he has mental health issues, so it's fine to give us so much mental stress, harassment, and upset in our familys life because he has issues.If he had that much issues why is he living in a council 3 bed semi on his own.I have no faith in local authoritys or police.They say their hands are tied. Come on we pay tax what for!!! I have 6 yrs worth of diaries, anti social, I have fabulous cctv of what he's like.We feel drained.Nobody wants to help us, we want him moved out and shut up.
K50 - 12-May-20 @ 7:16 PM
My issue is with neighbour and children invasion of privacy.The neighbour has a very large garden and has put a trampoline near to our garden border so when it is used by their teenagers they can see into my home.If i’m sitting at my dining table, cooking or doing anything in my kitchen they’re there right in my face. I live on my own,my partner of 40 years passed away in January 2020 and having to deal with this and now i can’t even have any privacy in my own home to come to terms with my loss and grieving process,i don’t need this aggravation and upset,
Globetrotter - 26-Apr-20 @ 6:38 AM
My neighbours in flat downstairs since they moved in downstairs done nothing but take. Firstly they used my garden and left rubbish. Secondly theydid illegal repairs on their rented property and the builders trespassed in garden. Thirdly her boyfriend abuse me for looking out my window which overlooks their garden. Fourthly she write note with are nasty and put them in my letterbox. They have angry arguments which I hearinfront of their four year old child
Loo - 25-Apr-20 @ 2:06 AM
My neighbour has had it I for us for the past 4 years, been neighbours for 9 years, only swapped the odd hello. I’m a busy mum to three boys, worked. My husband a farmer works long hours. One of my sons has autism. Now she became aggressive over a shared septic tank which is on her land but when we moved she asked if my husband knows anything about them as she had no clue (the house we bought was her brothers and he had previously took care of it). My husband did know about them an it was agreed that he would keep it running and cost for repairs would be split equally. One year her loo got blocked, ours didn’t and without communication from her she bought equipment for its repair and got her boyfriend to install it then billed us for it. We said we were not paying for work carried out without our consent or even a chance to sort it( her loo was backing up because she blocked it from in her house that’s why ours was ok,not an actual problem with the tank itself. We also said as the issue was not identified by ourselves or a professional then we were not prepared to pay the cost as we didn’t have a problem. Whilst my husband was at work over the next few weeks she sent her adult son over to my house who walked straight in to my house without inviting him and stood close to me and made threats, I had my young children at home and I was very uncomfortable, he did this twice but never did when my husband was home. She plays her music incredibly loud to intimidate us all and recently she had family over for visits during the Covid 19 and she verbally insulted my intelligence, my home called me everything under the sub and said she isn’t finished with me yet, all addressed to me not my husband. I don’t know why it’s me that’s getting the abuse I really don’t. It’s effecting my disabled child who has melt downs due to the overwhelming loudness (which I have Videos of) and it’s causing my heart rate to go through the roof! We want to try for a baby but frequent amounts of adrenaline can harm baby in the first trimester so it’s risky. It’s so unfair and it’s life changing for us. We have never had support from councils or police and I don’t know why. We have boughtrecently cctv cameras which has made me feel really sad as we live in a rural community and are part of that and get along with everyone but her. It makes no sense. You can not like someone without being aggressive...I’m not liking her but I have not responded to her that way, I’ve followed the law but I have nothing in return.
Nel - 14-Apr-20 @ 11:05 AM
Hi I’m hoping someone can guide me please. It’s regarding an incredibley nosey neighbours who continually invade my partners and I privacy. They are an older couple in their 60s who live above us who watch us as we enter and leave our property , have a camera overlooking my back garden. We often hear them explaining to the other as they watch from the what we’re doingwhen we have workmen, friends and family over. It’s getting difficult and I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve tried explaining this to them but it’s no good. Any guidance would be much appreciated thank you
Lane - 3-Apr-20 @ 5:19 PM
I'm a nurse been at the address for 25 years...never had any problems with this 3 neighbors...two of them moved at the same time...but the last one like 2 years ...the problem my husband collect classic cars and we had 4 parked in our close drive way...my husband has 2 cars that he has park out my daughter one and my car...see we would park out cars on the street because we drive them only one we leave parking They think they own the street...one lady crossed the street to my house and said bad words and second time toke my phone from my hand..the times when i come home from work tired...what can we do...how can help us...I call the cops but they laugh tell me there jealous of what we have. All three neighbors call the city to let them know that we have all these cars of course we had to get rid of the cars the classics thank God they did that for us because now my husband's going to fix them and bring him back running. So they're coming back I'll paint it and back and my driveway. If anyone could help I would really appreciate it
Letty - 7-Mar-20 @ 12:59 AM
Any advice, lived next to neighbours for over two years with no problems,last year they started to copy things we were getting for the garden.we bought things , they would buy the same. Because I have parkinsons my son bought me a arbour for the garden for me to sit in, since then the neighbours have stopped speaking to us, they have complained to the council that our tv is to loud, that our dogs bark out of control,they also complained about our wild life camera on the bird table, all this after two years of nothing. What can i do, they stare through our Windows and peep over the fence.
Arnie - 11-Feb-20 @ 6:56 PM
I was assaulted by a neighbour on the end of January this year, the police would do anything cause of counter allegations.A few days later I suffered a heartattack which I think was partly caused through stress of the assult. Today I was spat at by my neighbour and threatend twice by her boyfriend. I have video evidence so I was wondering if i can take an injunction out on them, I am waiting for the police to come out to see me
Natt45 - 4-Feb-20 @ 7:52 PM
I’m being verbally harassed by my neighbors I don’t know what to do anymore I’m emotionally distressed I’ve called the cops three times and they couldn’t do anything for me . my neighbors are constantly talking about me every time I go outside I’m transitioning and they just don’t like me I’m distressed I use to be happyI’m married to my husband I don’t know what else to do anymore
Sam - 11-Dec-19 @ 6:29 PM
before we moved in – We were waiting for the Estate Agent a few times and MR ----------- was coming across all the time, as we were taking the ins and outs – of the property....... MY Father was mesering up for a new gate and also got someone to come out – and give us a quote For the gate – for the dog and then later on Mr ------- said he would give us a quote for the gate, which was the same price as the other quote – and my Father only said he could do the job, as to keep it local. ALSO my Father and my self asked Mr, --------– if he knows any one – who could cut the small Lawn and the small back lawn and the small verge by the hedge and he said that he would do the job for £30.00 pounds in cash – so I paid him the sum of £30.00 POUNDS – which my father thought It was expensive. - I have had some other quotes - and they have been around £10.00 mark.. MR …….. = was coming across a few times and asking my Father that he would do a job on our property – such as remove all the stones on the drive and put new stones down – and said he would charge us around £1,200 pounds for doing the job – when we did not ask him to do the job and then he was coming a cross to my Father and saying to him – that he would do some jobs in the back garden – and cut some trees down an we did not ask him to do any of the jobs – so my father - Chased him – and said that his son would do any jobs on our property – WHICH was COLD CALLING - my Father was unwell at the time and MR ------- was being a pain - as my Father was not MR, Carsten personal bank account . My Father got fed up with MR ------ coming across – that he put the property on the market. AFRTER my Father passed away – Mr …….. was giving me abuse – when I was on the otther side of the foot path and coming up to me – and giving me abuse – and saying that next door drive was better than our drive and our drive was - to small and pointing across to the next door – but one drive was better then our drive and you can not get a lot of cars on our drive and your - garden was to small. A other time I was going a cross the road he was saying he could see right though our home as he was going on to my Father of the same and MR …….. was also saying that your house is to small and going on he does not like the gate on our drive........ ALSO MR ------- was coming a cross the road twice and saying why don’t you go and live near a paper shop and a other time he was going on about – something are you going for breakfast !!!! - also MR ------was coming across and sating - why don't you go back to Liverpool and put your house up for rent …... A other time MR -------- - was coming across and moning about the next door house and saying it was to close to his house and said he was going to the council and I said that has nothing to do with me, so he went off . I was getting help and one of the persons said to me – say nothing to them across the road and that they are to nosy and keep to your se
glen - 2-Nov-19 @ 3:54 PM
My male neighbor has been harrasing me since I moved in next door to him I'm a single 65 disabled female . he's making up all kinds of lies about me trying to get me kicked out of my home . resently he posted lies on the park's website saying I'm on drugs and inferred I'm selling drugs . I'm not on drugs or selling drugs . I went to the park manager and he said if he made him remove the post he'd just post something worse . he's slandering my name . I need help he's causing my BP to skyrocket . I'm so distracted I have fallen down my stairs 3 times in the last month . I've had to take my nitro several time's because I'm having chest pains over all of this .. He has video surveillance on my home too front and back of my yard. I know what he's doing is illegal . but I called a lawyer but he wants 1500.00 down as a retainer from me and there after 250.00 a hour that's almost three months income for me .
Di - 21-Oct-19 @ 2:06 PM
I have neighbors that ha been harassing me for two years at my apartment complex. People moved out of my building now the guy who has been stalking me has moved a lot of his friends in the building and they stalk and harass me 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I cannot sleep because when I'm in my bedroom they bang on the wall all-day. When I go to use my bathroom the girl on top is a friend to the girl who lives underneath and the girl who lives above me jumps up and down then the girl who lives underneath me takes a stick and bang on the ceiling. I can't use my bathroom in peace, I cant sleep in my own bedroom or cook because when I'm in my kitchen they always bang on my door and run. I'm saving up to move soon but this is very draining and I am so tired I can never rest in my own house.
becky - 17-Sep-19 @ 7:31 PM
I've actually had a male neighbour sneaking through the back garden and knocking the door late at night,presumably for some weird,pervie reason! He's horrible tbh,however kept a diary for police and now have another neighbour who witnessed it going to give a statement. So always keep a diary and ask around,as someone else might have seen.Hopefully he'll get a jail sentence for harassment
cara - 8-Sep-19 @ 11:32 PM
Got a self obsessed alcoholic who thinks myself and partner are as away with the fairies, as he is. We have installed a cctv camera which overlooks our back garden, and does notpoint at his. He has already called out a PCSO who is definately NOT neutralising 'the( non existent) situation', claiming We are violating his human rights. He and his cronies have threatened to kill my partner, and destroy our property. It was the same PCSO who suggested the Cctv. to prove his actions!!! We are paying no attention, to his hysterical outbursts. However are we breaking the law, but filming our own garden, fence, and contents ?????
Lottie - 3-Sep-19 @ 8:44 PM
Medieval type witch hunt going on.I try to ignore it and live my life but it just gets worse. These people are attempting to stop me living my life. The latest is I am forced off the pavement into a main road by a man with dogs. He uses obscene language.
Hannah - 1-Sep-19 @ 5:11 PM
i have a large legal battle going on agianst myself, the other side may feel they will loose,because of this they are trying to discredit me to my wife and push us into seperation what can i do as my wife wont take it further because of the stress that will come, can i legally do anything against the perpertrators
Byron Pagin - 26-Aug-19 @ 3:37 PM
I been getting harrass since i move here. It started from an place on central call godswarehouse. I used go there and eat food but put money in the metal jar for the preacher,but got into a little disagreement wi5h his wife . I sad sorry and she kept talking bad about me for about more then ten minutes before i told her that you not going to me feel worser 5hen i always feel . I got educated on her an that was that. Later on i had move to this two family home i meet the next door niebor bt the name of Don. First thing he told me that hes from godswarehouse an i told him with respect that i dont want to be friends you from godswarehouse and i want to be left along. It gotten worse first 8 at a niebor house told m6 kids to get something from house an come back.tHey were missing for over 30 minutes i went to look for them an heard them a5 his apartment. He say they were along and i told thatvu stay out of my kids way please dont do that again. Second time is when everytime someone's come to my apartment i always catch him in there face first. Police to i saw him takling with the police officers an i call them for my issues not for him. When he talk first and i talk next without knowing what he says and they have finny looks and says stuff that i knows he said to them.i leave when i come back it looks like someone been in my home. Me and my kids here someones inside our roof we go to to room to room an the footsteps follow us from room to room. Some way i dont know how but i believe he's doing something with the plumbing caused water always flooding my floors badly allmost everyday, i know its them cause his son told me That if i get lOck out of my house pay him five dollars an he will let Me in,in front of my kids,and i put new locks in. I have information i need missing like my id ,ssi receipt from last year in August. Clothes missing mostly my kids . He makes calls i believe like human resource witch they came four times in one month and they ask the same question did i work in the month of Dec of 2018and they tried to come in my home behind my back his name is Mr. Anthony first letter of his name starts with a O i believe would be wrong . Police were in my yard allmost everyday,mt back yard.i felt he had to do with that . I believe ssi watching mw and cault one following me and ask her were she following me an she walking with a gentleman who started to reach for his weapon. I build a fence like in my back yard the next day he an his son broke it down . They have a lady who's be staying there allways coming over my apartment asking for money for rhe guy whos name is own the lease its Don . But everyweek Don son his Name Jose and the lady who's live witj i forgot her name but she says she on the run with a baby girlan on drugs allways come over my place talking about drugs and her an jose they allways argue very loudly.its getting out of hand and i called police about them but believed they the same thinh cause i allways get talk out of maki
Boomann - 13-Aug-19 @ 7:34 AM
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