What to do if you are feeling threatened by physical violence
By Julian Porter - Principal Solicitor at Suncoast Community Legal Service.
The issue of domestic violence has received a lot of attention lately; and rightly so. But what’s not being talked about, are acts and threats of violence falling outside intimate or family relationships.
If you are targeted by malicious or destructive interactions from neighbours or others, there are actions you can take.
The Peace and Good Behaviour Act 1982 outlines the law associated when people have been threatened with assault, property has been destroyed or damaged and where, as a result, they are in fear of the respondent.
If you are involved in this type of dispute, you can apply for protection under the Peace and Good Behaviour Act. The process involves a civil application to the Magistrates Court of a Peace and Good Behaviour Order where the allegations are assessed on the balance of probabilities. Once an application is made, further instances such as threats of violence or breaches of conditions, can be pursued by the police.
Arguably Peace and Good Behaviour Orders help the police do their job, as it's usually easier to prove a breach of the order than an assault or damage.
You also have rights when it comes to noise and crime in the neighbourhood. Find out more about:
Noisy neighbours – How to resolve problems with noisy neighbours, loud dogs and noisy vehicles, pubs and clubs.
Barking dogs in the neighbourhood – Find out what you can do about a barking dog in your neighbourhood.
Neighbourhood Watch – Find out about Neighbourhood Watch in your area.
Julian Porter is Principal Solicitor at Suncoast Community Legal Service. This column contains legal information only. Legal advice should be sought in relation to individual circumstances.
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