Public Order Act
Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986
Section 5 Public Order Act Harassment, Alarm or Distress
This offence involves the use of words, behaviour, and even gestures or signs where the defendant is of the opinion that someone may be within hearing distance. This is different from the offence above as there doesn't need to be any intention to cause harassment, alarm or distress. A general defence of the behaviour being reasonable in the circumstances may be available to the defendant.
An example of this offence could be someone swearing at another. This offence is quite common when people swear at a police officer.
This is an offence that could only be dealt with in the Magistrates Court and generally attracts a fine.
Public Order Act - The Different Offences Explained
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