Can I get a restraining order if my child is being bullied
Can I get a restraining order if my child is being bullied?
Yes, but usually, the police will try to mediate or take other action to stop the bullying without resorting to going to court.
However, technically if the person is over the age of 10 (which is the age of criminal responsibility in the UK) the police and the Crown Prosecution Service can apply for a restraining order but you can also take civil action (hire a solicitor) to get a restraining order Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
The police will provide the CPS with details that may be included in an order. ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) says restraining orders should be drafted to meet the particular risks presented in each case. It suggests some conditions a restraining order might include:
- Not (either alone or by means of agents) to directly or indirectly contact, harass, alarm, distress or molest the victims and others as appropriate
- Not to telephone, fax, communicate by letter, text, electronic mail or internet with the victim and others as appropriate or to send or solicit to send any correspondence whatsoever.
- Not to knowingly approach within the boundary of any premises where the victim and others as appropriate reside, work or frequent.
- Not to retain, record or research by any means, private confidential or personal facts, or information relating to the victim and others as appropriate
- Not to use a different name or to change his/her name without immediately notifying the court or investigating officer."
(P72 of ACPO Practice Advice on Investigating Stalking and Harassment
What should the Police do if the offender breaches a restraining order or an injunction?
If an offender breaks the conditions of a restraining order, they can be arrested immediately. ACPO says:
"Breach of a restraining order or injunction under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 can result in arrest.
It is not necessary to prove a course of conduct for this purpose as a single breach of the order is sufficient evidence of a breach. It must be proved that the person arrested is the same person to whom the order applies and fingerprints should be taken on every occasion that an arrest for a breach takes place.
A prosecution file will be required for the CPS to prosecute for the breach. A copy of the original order or injunction should be included in the file for the CPS.
The police force should have systems in place to ensure that they are notified promptly of the existence of a restraining order and that the order is recorded on the Police National Computer and local intelligence systems without delay."
It's also worth noting that the Civil Court can be used to apply for non-molestation and restraining orders.
These can also carry a power of arrest by the police if there is a breach. As with the Criminal Court, you will need to produce evidence and or make a statement to the police if an order is breached.
(P73 ACPO Practice Advice on Investigating Stalking and Harassment 2009)