Malicious Communications (MalComms)

Send false message by public electronic communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety

Contrary to s.127(2) Communications Act 2003

  • PND Code: DA02
  • CCCJS: CA03007
  • Recordable
  • HO Class: 196/07
  • £90 fine

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Key Considerations

  • Person must be aged 16 or over
  • There must be sufficient evidence to support a successful prosecution
  • The offence is not too serious and is of a nature suitable for being dealt with by a penalty notice
  • The suspect is suitable, compliant (e.g. does not refuse the PND) and able to understand what is going on (e.g. is not too intoxicated or does not have a mental disorder)
  • The offence involves no-one below the age of 16 (e.g. as a co-offender)
  • There is sufficient evidence as to the suspect’s age, identity and place of residence exists (e.g. suspect is not homeless or a foreign national who is resident outside the British Isles)

A penalty notice will not be appropriate:

  • where there has been any injury to any person;
  • where there has been a substantial financial or material loss to the private property of an individual;
  • where the terms of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 might apply;
  • for any offence related to domestic violence;
  • for any offence where there are aggravating factors (hate crime, e.g. racially motivated or homophobic);
  • for any football-related offences;
    where the suspect is already subject to a custodial sentence (including a Home Detention Curfew) or a community penalty other than a fine (including an Anti-Social Behaviour Order);
  • if the suspect appears likely to claim the statutory defence to a section 5 Public Order Act 1986 offence.
Updated on 2021-11-12
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