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Special Investigation: Trolling and the outdated law that fails to deal with the offence

Trolling is very quickly becoming the key word of the twenty first century which applies to the term used for bullying and threatening someone on line.

It is becoming such a big issue that the police are being forced to investigate the ever increasing incidents of crimes committed online. since the internet came in to play it has created a market for online criminals and provided a platform for identity theft and fraud which is worth billions of pounds a year.

Trolling has always existed online but has become more and more popular as it comes to the eye of the media and more and more high profile people are becoming victims.

Trolling is a crime within the virtual world which has no gain in terms of profit, the criminals gain is ascertaining power over a persons weakness and feeling a much stronger and better person that the person they are targeting.

Someone who is troll generally has a number of fake accounts and fake email addresses to commit their crime, because ultimately they do not want to be traced and they don’t want the person they are targeting finding out who they are making it much harder for the police to trace.

The way Twitter is configured all you need to create an account is an email address and your name, meaning your personal details are not given as trolls create a number of fake email addresses meaning their crimes are much harder for the police to trace.

The Police can then never arrest anyone unless they have reasonable suspicion that the suspect they have arrested is reasonably suspected of committing the crime. There must be a link that is known to the detectives from the Troll to the person.

Police Services within the United Kingdom find it extremely difficult to investigate such crimes because it is an area of law that is not written in law the malicious communications act was written before the internet went live and is intended for letters, the internet is not governed under this law but the courts apply an outdated law to this crime.

The investigation of such crime is difficult and expensive, firstly the police need to be able to quickly identify an offender something which could prove impossible.

Once an offender has been identified the Police then need to put up a huge amount of money, they will search the offenders home once they have been arrested and recover every single item that can connect to the internet such as mobile phones, smart tvs, playstations, x boxs, ipads, laptops, computers.

They are then required to pay £1000.00 per item to be forensically examined by an expert something which takes six to nine months, which is to secure any evidence connecting the offender to the suspected crime if after six months evidence is found on the persons devices they will be charged with the offence.

Which at the end of all of that they must then still prove beyond responsible dough that the person is responsible for sending the tweet.

This area of law becomes even more complicated when areas of law are mentioned because the official law has never been written for the internet and is an extremely outdated law that the courts seem apply the rules for silent phone calls and written letter communications.

But it could be argued that there is no direct threat of violence or fear created because it is an image and not a direct threat.

ultimately a lot of police time and resources will be wasted for a crime the United Kingdom are not equipped to deal with effectively.

The Law that covers this act

(1) Any person who sends to another person

(a) a letter, electronic communication or article of any description which conveys

(i) a message which is indecent or grossly offensive

(ii) a threat or

(iii) information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender or

(b) any article or electronic communication which is, in whole or part, of an indecent or grossly offensive nature,is guilty of an offence if his purpose, or one of his purposes, in sending it is that it should, so far as falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above, cause distress or anxiety to the recipient or to any other person to whom he intends that it or its contents or nature should be communicated.

If these areas of law are not satisfied after all of the investigation their will be no charge or conviction.

Therefore this is an area of Law that should be updated to allow the police and the courts the powers to deal with this area effectively

Let us know your views by tweeting @PoliceHour We'll feature the best tweets within the article.

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