The bar for harassment is very low in the UK. I used to think that this was a good thing – subjects would be believed. But now I’ve come out on the wrong side of it, and the law has a massive gap!
Anyone can walk into a police station with two pieces of (verifiable) information, say they don’t like what’s been said or done, and report someone for harassment.
This is what the weasel who groomed me (sorry, unable to use the term ‘man’) does to his victims when they they tried to expose him. He is not alone.
I received this letter from Hampshire Police (which I now understand is a PIN, do read other articles on this blog.)Hampshire Constabulary has received an allegation from [name removed to protect the abuser] that you have engaged in conduct that amounts to harassment. [I had named him and tried to find out was happening, and tried to warn a school that he was working with about his suitability to offer moral guidance.] . This letter is to formally bring your attention to the complaint received on 15 June 2018. I must advise you that if you continue with this conduct you may be liable to arrest and prosecution under the protection from Harassment Act 1997. The maximum penalty on conviction for this offence is imprisonment. . We accept your own account of the circumstances may differ however evidence supplied by various parties during this investigation does support the harassment allegation made by [abuser]. . However I advise you do not engage any further with [abuser] directly or indirectly as this contact (by any means) is unwanted. . Do not engage in any conduct which could amount to harassment. This includes engaging in contact with his family, employers, professional colleagues and friends. I advise you remove any information you have placed/shared on any social forum (social media) that is defamatory [there’s nothing defamatory in telling the -provable – truth!] or that could constitute an offence under the Communications Act 2003 or Malicious Communications Act 1988. . For your information there is evidence to support this allegation of harassment which could be used for prosecution purposes in the future. If any further harassment conduct is reported I must advise you that you could be liable for both past and future actions, should you so persist. . This matter is recorded on our database and evidence has been secured. . After careful consideration and consultation with THE VICTIM [My capitals!] it has been decided that no formal action will be taken against you in the matter on this occasion.
The law was on his side.
When I asked Hampshire Police for details on what information had been given to them, this is what I received:The letter sent to you was advice and to make you aware of the complaint made. No formal action has been taken or is intended to be taken at this time. The police, as you can appreciate and I am sure you are aware have a duty to record all crimes/matters reported as per Home Office guidance. Whilst some evidence has been supplied by [abuser] and his family this cannot be shared with you in its entirety as if any further complaints were to be forthcoming this could be detrimental to any considered investigation/criminal process in the future. Disclosure of evidence is only given to a solicitor either prior to or during interview when formal action is being taken. I can confirm the report received is in relation to alleged harassment conduct. The allegation is that contact has been made with various associates of [abuser]. By various means of telecommunications. Social Media has also been used. To reiterate this is being dealt with by way of advice only (letter) and no formal action will be taken. The matter will now be filed/closed here in Hampshire. I note in your email the effect you state this relationship with [offender] has had on your emotional wellbeing.< If you are feeling unwell, depressed or suicidal you should seek medical assistance from your local GP or any other local medical facility that can assist. In an emergency call 999 and seek emergency medical care. . I attach a link that may be of help. You can call the SAMARITANS free from any phone any time on 116 123. . https://www.samaritans.org/
My groomer has a known record for faking emails and evidence, and from the information given is clearly unable to tell the difference between his targets.
The law offers him protection, but criminalises me for speaking out.
This blog post was amended in January 2019 to reflect a new direction for this blog and to reduce the chance that my groomer will use the law to continue his damaging behaviours and abuse of me. Whilst initially I felt, altruistically, that I should protect others by naming him, the effects of his continued toxic behaviours has been so profound that I need to protect myself from him first and foremost.