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marianne698

potential informant threatening claimant!

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This is not exactly your everyday situation, however, I have tried to find answers on other websites but failed. I found this site and hope somebody can help. I am a distant relation of those involved and have tried to keep things simple but this has got to stop as been going on for a while.

For information, the eldest, who has confided in me, is extremely ill, physically and mentally (this unnecessary stress is obviously making them worse). The youngest (who is causing the problems) is married with children and works full time.

It surrounds the fact that the younger brother has been sending threatening texts to an elder sibling, and in telephone calls threatened to report the elder to DWP for, as he calls it ‘benefit fraud'.

Indeed, the information the younger brother has obtained, has been done by way of threatening texts/phone calls which may even amount to blackmail or an offence of harassment, at least.

My 1st query is if the younger brother goes ahead and reports sibling to DWP, how does the fact, the way he has obtained information/intelligence/evidence affect any potential prosecution?

Could the way the younger brother has 'handled' the situation and obtained information, make this situation difficult for DWP to prosecute as the information/evidence was obtained unfairly (to the say the least), and as I think illegally, which could taint any evidence that the DWP seek to rely upon?

If it is the case, that because of the way intelligence/evidence has been obtained by the potential DWP informant, and thus making any prosecution difficult, this would obviously put the eldest’s mind at rest, and will obtain further legal advice, if such a need arises.

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If it is legit harassment, he could take them to court for a restraining order, or if its verbal abuse or continued harassment, then you could get the local police involved to have a word.

 

With DWP, they have procedures to follow. They will investigate any complaints brought to their attention, but they dont prosecute unless they are 100% sure. They will look at the info given, but they will perform their own thorough investigation and not rely on conjecture.


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I agree with reply but it is the fact that (potential) prosecution evidence has been tainted/obtained unfairly/illegally, and because of this how would this affect a potential prosecution?

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IMO, this is a civil matter.

 

The DWP thrive on malicious calls by disgruntled relatives/friends/spouses etc and regularly receive anonymous tip offs on an hourly basis.

They wouldn't rely on any information they are passed to make any criminal case, they would instigate their own investigation first before pursuing a legal proceedings.

 

The good thing about a phone is you can choose whether or not you answer it, and you can also hang up, if anyone attempted to intimidate or blackmail me over the phone, they should expect to be pulled through it!

 

If he is subject to harassment then that is another matter and should be reported to the police, and if he fears for his safety then an injunction could be sought against the other party.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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If there is a basis to the accusations then how the info was obtained by the sibling, won't matter - sorry. If the older sibling is fraudulent in their claim then it may be best to come clean themselves, which is looked on much more favourably if it comes to prosecution.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Threatening to report a fact to the authorities is not a crime. Blackmail is instead a crime. Has the offender indeed blackmailed the potential victim? Otherwise I don't see a case here. What a nice family btw!


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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the Informants information is 'intelligence' the DWP will assess the intelligence, and if satisfied it passes a certain threshold they will conduct their own preliminary investigation to obtain 'evidence'

They may start to collect 'intelligence material' inthe form of documents, financial investigation, enquiries with hmrc, bank etc.

if satisfied there is a criminal offense of fraud fly claiming benefit they are then faced with a number of choices which include non formal interview, interview under caution, directed surveillance to gather further evidence they may even refer the matter to the Police (most serious of cases involving lots of other people involved) I know of people being called in after being bubbled for fiddling and caught on camera etc. they were just told to sign off from their benefits and would thus avoid prosecution.

If the relative has nothing to hide then they will be ok.

As has already been mentioned it is advisable to fess up if any fiddling has been going on.

 

The DWP investigations dept are very busy and I would imagine that only a handful of 'anonymous reports' go further than a cursory investigation or a face to face interview.


I am fighting it all the way :-x

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Many thanks to those who have replied (and yes, there is and always has been sibling rivalry between the 2 concerned) but I don't seem to be putting my point across very well and maybe I should have posted in general legal forum (only reliased that there was 1). I suppose the query I am asking relates to specific law of evidence and how it was/has been obtained. (from further digging) I know that if this information/intelligence (see 1st and 2nd posts) was/had been obtained this way by those conducting any (potential) investigation, then such evidence would be ruled inadmissable (any prosecuting authorities, police, hmce, dwp and others) as they are all bound by codes of practice.

 

But my query still remains unanswered. It is the way that the information/intelligence/evidence had been primarily obtained (by threats and blackmail) by the younger sibling, and how this fact could affect any potential prosecution, for whichever way you look at it, the way these events have occured at the very least 'taint' the whole of the evidence.

 

I suppose I was hoping for someone with legal knowledge to have come across this post and given a definitive answer.

 

Is it possible for admin to copy this post and place in the general legal forum?

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to commence an investigation the investigator only needs suspicion.

where and how that suspicion is formed has to arise from reasonable grounds.

 

those grounds can include anonymous reports, if an intrusion Into private life has occurred as a result of malicious reporting then there is a slim chance of redress providing that the information relied upon came from a source that was notoriously unreliable or flawed such as gained under duress or blackmail. however these are complicated legal arguments to be thrashed out well after an investigation has commenced, action or prosecution leading to a court appearance.

 

it may well be easier to obtain the evidence of the threats and blackmail, provide this to the local dwp investigation team with a notice that any information they may have received has come from a dubious source, submit a freedom of information request as to whether the subject is actually being investigated and state that you will seek redress through the ECHR if it is found that an investigation and intrusion upon the private life of the subject has occurred based solely on the poor quality intelligence.

 

tbh it is a sledgehammer to crack a nut, most investigators know their job and will only start an investigation once there is other corroborating evidence or intelligence to support and thus raise the burden of suspicion to a suitable level.


I am fighting it all the way :-x

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it is highly unlikely that any DWP prosecution (improbable) would take place based purely on the receipt of information from an individual. Further evidence would be obtained which would substantiate that intelligence and any further action taken on that evidence obtained during the investigation.

The DWP do not use CHIS and would not take forward a case on their information.

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Your question has been answered, but I'll restate. If younger sibling is blackmailing or harassing older sibling, this is a separate question.

 

Should the DWP decide to prosecute, they will not be relying on younger siblings claims - they will have done their own investigation independent of said claims, and that's the evidence they'll use in court.


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I hope the above has helped, they will look into it, and if there is no corroboration they will file it.

 

a bit like crimestoppers information, the figures are published as to how many reports are received, acted upon and also resulted in arrest, recovery of items, or other action by the authorities such as an onward referral to another agency.

 

be the same with DWP


I am fighting it all the way :-x

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Your question has been answered, but I'll restate. If younger sibling is blackmailing or harassing older sibling, this is a separate question.

 

Should the DWP decide to prosecute, they will not be relying on younger siblings claims - they will have done their own investigation independent of said claims, and that's the evidence they'll use in court.

 

I think the OP may have been watching too much crime drama, and is thinking of something like 'fruit of the poisonous tree', which doesn't apply in this country. And would only apply to actions initiated by police or prosecution, anyway.

 

Some evidence is now not accepted in british courts, but they still are much more relaxed than in the U.S. courts - for instance, if the police said to a person 'we'll pay you to harass and intimidate a suspect until you get the info we want' and this was proven to have happened, then maybe the evidence obtained in this manner would not be accepted. But there is nothing to prevent evidence being accepted from a voluntary source in the scenario set out, it wouldn't even be queried or challenged by the defence.

 

If the relation has committed/is committing fraud, then coming clean is the best defence against the intimidation and harassment, will produce a better result under prosecution, and is the right thing to do.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Thank you again for responses (no, have not been watching to many dramas 'fruit of the poisonus tree'-1st ever heard of). There is another side that concerns me greatly. As said in 1st post am worried, (the eldest, obviously) as I know what he went through for many years when abusing drugs, severe depression (which he still suffers as well as other health problems) attempted suicide on 4 occasions leading to stays in mental health hospital, and for the past good few years he has been 'in recovery'. I am worried that this may set him back and undo all the good work done since his journey on recovery started.

 

I know he does have support from groups but do not know if I am able to do as much as I was hoping.

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Well the first thing to establish is has he been committing benefit fraud. If he has then then the easiest way to end the harassment is to come clean. If he hasn't been committing fraud, then he should report his brother to the police.

 

Obviously, with metal health issues, having to admit to benefit fraud could be very difficult for him - maybe he could find a welfare rights organisation/CAB who would be willing to advocate for him through the process. I had a couple of clients that I did this for while working as a rep.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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