Harassment is serious. All the anti-social behaviour in the list below should be reported to the Police. Tell the Police how the harassment is affecting you. Some people are just nasty neighbours and can make your life a misery. They should not be allowed to harass you and there are laws in place to protect you from this.
The technical definition of harassment is “the act of systematic and/or continued, unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands”. Basically, if someone is bothering you again and again, including threats and demands, you can report it as harassment.
The main types of anti-social behaviour in this category are:
- Hate incidents where the abuse involves your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability
- Intimidating behaviour
- Violence or the threat of violence to another person
- Abusive language
- Malicious phone calls, texts and emails
- Hoax calls to the emergency services or other third parties
- Animals not properly restrained in public places
The National Police Chiefs' Council recently (May 2018) unveiled a package of measures to improve the way the criminal justice system deals with both stalking and harassment. See here for information on their plans.
Stalking, mentioned above and defined as unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group, is covered in more detail by the National Stalking Helpline and therefore the information is not repeated here. See http://asbhelp.co.uk/emily-maitlis-opens-up-about-being-victim-of-stalker/ and http://asbhelp.co.uk/stalking-not-taken-seriously/ for our case studies about victims of stalking.
Bullying, including cyber-bullying, is also a form of harassment. See the excellent work of the Anti-Bullying Alliance (http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk) if you are a victim of bullying.
If you feel like you are being targeted because of who you are, this may be a Hate Incident or Hate Crime. It is definitely worth emphasising this to the Police because it will be treated with a higher level of seriousness. For more information on Hate Crime see here.
For a victim's experience of the challenges of defining harassment see this case study.
For a printer-friendly version of this information see here: Harassment