Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Offence of Sending Letters etc. with Intent to Cause Distress or Anxiety

Part of Orders of the Day — Malicious Communications Bill – in the House of Commons at 10:45 am on 8th July 1988.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mrs Teresa Gorman Mrs Teresa Gorman , Billericay 10:45 am, 8th July 1988

I take my hon. Friend's point but I do not wish to be malicious towards the right hon. Member for Sparkbrook; he has his point of view and I have mine.

There may be occasions when people write letters that are construed to be of a malicious nature, when they really are only expressing concern. The hon. Member for Barking pointed out that many humble people spend much of their lives peeping through their curtains at what the neighbours are getting up to, and that they might see comings and goings at a house causing them to wonder whether children were being neglected. In some cases, they could be right. They may not write a letter to the parent but to the NSPCC. Although we may laugh at such people and question whether they have nothing better to do with their time, they are in many ways the eyes and ears of our streets. There has been a breakdown of our traditional housing, when we lived in rows of houses and could watch the street. After we tore down all those nice neighbourhoods and replaced them with ghastly tower blocks of flats, people could not watch the streets and we began to see the breakdown—