Malicious and nuisance communications paras 5.20 to 5.26
Malicious and nuisance communications
-  The Association of Chief Police Officers has produced guidelines on ‘Dealing with Malicious and Nuisance Communications’. See http://www.acpo.police.uk/policies.asp
5.20 Many CSPs offer services to their customers to deal with complaints concerning malicious and nuisance communications. Although these services vary all CSPs believe that such calls can be very distressing for their customers and that every effort should be made to resolve such situations as efficiently and effectively as possible.
5.21 The victim of malicious or nuisance communications may, in the first instance, bring it to the attention of their CSP or report it to the police.
5.22 When contacted directly by a customer the CSP may consider the circumstances of the complaint are such that the customer will be advised to report the matter without delay to the police for investigation.
5.23 Alternatively the CSP can offer practical advice on how to deal with nuisance communications and may, for example, arrange a change of telephone number. The advice given by the CSP may indicate that the circumstances could constitute a criminal offence. The CSP may choose to disclose data to its customer relating to the source of the malicious or nuisance communications, but must ensure that the disclosure complies with the provisions of both the DPA and the Privacy Regulations.
-  SI 2003/2426
5.24 Upon receipt of a complaint a CSP may retrieve and retain relevant specific data that, if appropriate, can be disclosed to the police later. If the complainant wishes the matter to be investigated, it is essential for the CSP and the police to liaise with one another to ensure the lawful disclosure of data to enable any offence to be effectively investigated.
-  Ordinarily this will be overseen and coordinated by the police force’s SPoC.
5.25 Where the complainant reports a matter to the police that has been previously raised with the CSP, any data already collated by the CSP may be disclosed to the police SPoC under the provisions of the DPA or the Privacy Regulations.
-  Regulation 15 concerns tracing of malicious or nuisance calls.
Subsequent police investigation may require the acquisition or disclosure of additional communications data from the complainant’s CSP or other CSPs under the provisions of the Act.
5.26 Whether the initial complaint is reported to the CSP or directly to the police careful consideration should be given to whether the occurrence of malicious or nuisance communications are, or may be, related to other incidents or events. Specifically this could be where the complainant is a victim of another crime or is a witness or a member of a trial jury in ongoing or forthcoming criminal proceedings.