Define intimidating behaviour

A person who makes indecent, grossly offensive, obscene or threatening calls to another, via the telephone system network, is guilty of an offence under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

The intensity and frequency of incidents, combined with the proximity of victim and perpetrator, not only makes harassment and intimidation extremely distressing, it also makes it difficult for recipients of this kind of abuse from taking a stand and speaking out against the behaviour.

It can cover a wide range of conduct and behaviours, including racial or religious motivated harassment, and could also be used to prosecute certain types of anti-social behaviour where these amount to 'harassment', such as playing loud music, barking dogs or noisy house repairs.

In England and Wales, it is an also offence to cause harassment, alarm or distress under the Public Order Act 1986.

For more information on ASBOs and anti-social behaviour in general, see our sections.

One of the most common forms of harassment is malicious or nuisance telephone calls. Abusive, annoying, harassing, obscene or threatening telephone calls are an invasion of your privacy.

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