Dowson and Others v Chief Constable of Northumbria Police: QBD 20 Oct 2010

Six officers sought damages under the 1997 Act alleging harassment by a senior officer of the defendant.
Held: Simon J set out what a claimant must prove in an harassment claim:
‘(1) There must be conduct which occurs on at least two occasions,
(2) which is targeted at the claimant,
(3) which is calculated in an objective sense to cause alarm or distress, and
(4) which is objectively judged to be oppressive and unacceptable.
(5) What is oppressive and unacceptable may depend on the social or working context in which the conduct occurs.
(6) A line is to be drawn between conduct which is unattractive and unreasonable, and conduct which has been described in various ways: ‘torment’ of the victim, ‘of an order which would sustain criminal liability’.’


Simon J


[2010] EWHC 2612 (QB)




Protection from Harassment Act 1997


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCalland v Financial Conduct Authority CA 13-Mar-2015
The claimant appealed against the striking out of his claim of harassment against the Authority who had contacted him in an intended review of pensions mis-selling. They had contacted him once by letter, once by telephone and once by e-mail.
CitedCrawford v Jenkins CA 24-Jul-2014
The parties had divorced but acrimony continued. H now complained of his arrests after allegations from his former wife that he had breached two orders. He had been released and no charges followed. The court had ruled that W’s complaints were . .
CitedGerrard and Another v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd and Another QBD 27-Nov-2020
The claimants, a solicitor and his wife, sought damages in harassment and data protection, against a party to proceedings in which he was acting professionally, and against the investigative firm instructed by them. The defendants now requested the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other

Updated: 29 May 2022; Ref: scu.425362