Public Order Offences

  • St Helena Police conduct education and awareness programme
  • Different topics will be discussed each week
  • This week’s topic is Public Order Offences

There are a number of Public Order offences that can be committed by either a person or more than one person at the same time. These offences include, Affray, Fear or Provocation of Violence and Harassment, Alarm or Distress.

A vast majority of these offences are often committed when people are out and about on the weekend, with alcohol a contributing and aggravating factor.

Affray is committed by one or more persons when use or threats of unlawful violence is directed towards another person and whose conduct or behaviour would cause another person, who is present at the scene and is of reasonable firmness to fear for their safety. Affray can be committed both in public and in private. An example of this offence is if a person is stood shouting abuse at another person, waving a weapon such as a hammer around.

For such an offence the penalty is £500 or six months imprisonment or both. On conviction or indictment there is an unlimited fine or three years imprisonment or both.

Fear or Provocation of Violence is committed when a person uses towards another person, threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or when a person distributes or displays to another person any writing, sign or any sort of visible representation that is threatening, abusive or insulting; Using these with the intent of, causing the person to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used against them or someone else, or to provoke any immediate use of unlawful violence of that person or another, or that such violence will be used or that there is a likelihood of such provocation.

This offence can be committed both in public and in private, with the exception where words or behaviour used or signs are displayed or distributed by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also in that dwelling or in another dwelling.

An example of this offence includes a person shouting at another person ‘I am going to come and beat you up’ with clenched fists being shown.

The penalty for this offence is either £500 or six months imprisonment or both.

Harassment, Alarm or Distress is caused if a person uses threatening, insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour, or displays any writing, sign or visual representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting within the hearing or the sight of a person who is likely to be the victim of harassment, alarm or distress.

This offence can take place in private and in public unless, the behaviour or writing is conducted by the person and the other person in the same or another dwelling.

An example of this offence is having a bumper sticker on your car that has abusive words on it.

The penalty for this offence is a fine of £200.

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3 August 2021         

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470