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OUTRAGING THE PUBLIC DECENCY


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#1 duffymoon62

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 03:34 PM

I read in my local newspaper about someone who had been charged with this offence.I was told that the person charged had been caught urinating in public but from information ive found on the internet it seems a much more serious offence.What offences would warrant this charge of outraging the public decency.The piece in the paper mentioned twocounts of outraging the public decency,does this mean two offences on different dates or two offences all in one as it were?

#2 adslegend

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 03:59 PM

Urinating in public could constitute the offence, however it would need aggravating factors, for example intentional exposure of genitals, or urinating on a dying person (as someone was convicted of recently).

Outraging public decency is a common law offence and is triable only upon indictment I believe, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. In the example you give, it's likely that it was a far more complex thing than a quick pee in publiuc.

#3 sc-essex

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 04:06 PM

If the guy was urinating in an alloy or a doorway then this is still an offence of urinating in a public place, but if the guy was urinating in the middle of the pavement in full view of MoP's then it could constitute public indecency or possibly indecent exposure.

#4 Obsidian_Eclipse

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 02:46 PM

Urinating in public could constitute the offence, however it would need aggravating factors, for example intentional exposure of genitals, or urinating on a dying person (as someone was convicted of recently).

Outraging public decency is a common law offence and is triable only upon indictment I believe, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. In the example you give, it's likely that it was a far more complex thing than a quick pee in publiuc.


Yep, there would be aggravating factors. I doubt a simple pee down an ally, unless he waited for someone to come past before dropping his trousers.

Flashing at the kids in the park or through the school gates could be an outrage of public decency, it would probably carry more weight than a simple Public Order offence.

Using a video camera to film 'voyeuristic' images could also be a outrage of public decency. Even if no one saw you do it - but it was capable of being witnessed by one or more persons and it was possible someone could be affected by it.

#5 muppley

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 02:49 PM

Urinating in public could constitute the offence, however it would need aggravating factors, for example intentional exposure of genitals, or urinating on a dying person (as someone was convicted of recently).

Outraging public decency is a common law offence and is triable only upon indictment I believe, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. In the example you give, it's likely that it was a far more complex thing than a quick pee in publiuc.



Really???? what sort of sick person would do that!!!

#6 adslegend

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 03:04 PM

As pointed out in the public breastfeeding thread, to be guilty of the offence it requires the behaviour to be 'lewd, obscene and disgusting'.

Really???? what sort of sick person would do that!!!


Someone did, and got several years for it. There is a news thread on the site somewhere.

Flashing at the kids in the park or through the school gates could be an outrage of public decency, it would probably carry more weight than a simple Public Order offence.

Using a video camera to film 'voyeuristic' images could also be a outrage of public decency. Even if no one saw you do it - but it was capable of being witnessed by one or more persons and it was possible someone could be affected by it.


I would say sexual offences are probably most appropriate there, but three people were recently charged and convicted of the offence near to where I live for having sex on a beach.

#7 DaveUK

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 03:05 PM

If the guy was urinating in an alloy


Must be an Essex thing :prone:

#8 adslegend

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 03:06 PM

Here is the story I mentioned:

http://www.policespe...showtopic=57714

#9 sc-essex

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 05:03 PM

Must be an Essex thing :prone:


Didn't pre-read my reply before posting. "alley"

I can't believe the Essex twang has caught up to me, only lived in Essex since 2002 previously an East Londoner :iagree:

#10 Romeo29

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 10:16 PM

We're in the process of investigating someone for this very offence,

To Outrage Public Decency you must do something to outrageous,

Where at least two or more people were or could have been present and in a place where its reasonable to expect that there could be others around.

#11 iPlod

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 06:36 AM

My 3rd arrest was an outrage of public decency.

Couple at it hammer and tongs in a graveyard in Barking about 10 metres from a footpath leading into the town centre.

If you don't know Barking does come under Essex. Although, it is covered by the Met.

Edited by iPlod, 31 July 2008 - 06:37 AM.


#12 Lord Vader

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 07:58 AM

Note too that the act the person is doing has to be something more than trivial. One recent example from my town is a girl who was giving her boyfriend oral sex outside a nightclub.

There may be other, more appropriate statutory offences to use though - sexual offences, public order, etc. This is a common law offence and therefore something of a fallback if nothing else applies.

#13 sc-essex

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 01:03 PM

My 3rd arrest was an outrage of public decency.

Couple at it hammer and tongs in a graveyard in Barking about 10 metres from a footpath leading into the town centre.

If you don't know Barking does come under Essex. Although, it is covered by the Met.


Doing it in a graveyard is bad enough, but I know the graveyard and town centre your talking about, and they actually quite close, how on earth did they think they could get away with it?

Amazingly even when people are drunk they don't want to wet themselves. But they must think they are dogs, by peeing up lampposts and other things

(Once had a guy urinate up the back wheel of a police carrier) Shoud have seen his face when the back doors opened :prone:

#14 Cromwell

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 05:27 PM

I'm a bit confused about this urinating. I thought for outraging public decency the behaviour had to be lewd, and for behaviour to be lewd there must be a sexual nature.

#15 sc-essex

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 05:42 PM

I'm a bit confused about this urinating. I thought for outraging public decency the behaviour had to be lewd, and for behaviour to be lewd there must be a sexual nature.



It does, but if they are urinating in the middle of the pavement, waving their magic wand about it could constitute as lewd, plus they may splash the police car :prone:

#16 Cromwell

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 09:16 PM

It does, but if they are urinating in the middle of the pavement, waving their magic wand about it could constitute as lewd, plus they may splash the police car :prone:


Section 5 all the way...

#17 Time_Bandit

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 09:03 AM

If the guy was urinating in an alloy or a doorway then this is still an offence of urinating in a public place, but if the guy was urinating in the middle of the pavement in full view of MoP's then it could constitute public indecency or possibly indecent exposure.

Can you remind me which act and section this falls under please.

#18 adslegend

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 11:42 AM

Can you remind me which act and section this falls under please.


It's a bye law offence, so will be different in each area.

#19 bensonby

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 02:05 PM

I learnt yesterday that there is a specific byelaw offence of urinating in public in the city of westminster (no, I wasn't caught doing it!) - do any other towns/cities have an equivalent byelaw?



(sorry for hijacking thread)

#20 Cromwell

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 07:28 PM

I have no idea what my local byelaws are. We treat urinating in public as s5 Public Order meaning we require someone to have seen it. (I'm not sure how the courts would feel if that person was a police officer who went down an alleyway to see if he could catch people weeing...)

#21 adslegend

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 02:25 AM

I have no idea what my local byelaws are. We treat urinating in public as s5 Public Order meaning we require someone to have seen it. (I'm not sure how the courts would feel if that person was a police officer who went down an alleyway to see if he could catch people weeing...)


Is that force policy? I can understand why maybe it is if a lot of tickets are failing the audits or getting hammered at court.

However, the law states that the offence is complete if the requisite conduct is within hearing or sight of persons likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress - whether they actually witnessed it is irrelevant.

As for the person being a police officer, then it must be showed that they were actually caused harassment, alarm or distress and that the conduct was something above and beyond what a police officer would expect to encounter as a part of their job.

#22 Cromwell

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 12:15 PM

Is that force policy? I can understand why maybe it is if a lot of tickets are failing the audits or getting hammered at court.

However, the law states that the offence is complete if the requisite conduct is within hearing or sight of persons likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress - whether they actually witnessed it is irrelevant.

As for the person being a police officer, then it must be showed that they were actually caused harassment, alarm or distress and that the conduct was something above and beyond what a police officer would expect to encounter as a part of their job.


Sorry, you're right. What I meant about PCs going looking for people urinating was that a court might decide that the PC wasn't likely to be HAD by the urinating since he was going looking for it. But I was only speculating.

#23 applesnstairs

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 08:53 PM

im sorry but come on

it wasnt like he was abusing anyone.

urinating is a perfectly normal thing to do.

which is why you should avoid pregnant women

#24 Romeo29

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 09:26 PM

I thought urinating in public was a common law offence?? Maybe i'm wrong though.


applesnstairs,

Urinating is natural, doing it in public places is disgusting, toilets were invented for a reason. :prone:

#25 Crucible

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 09:43 PM

It's worth checking what the procedures are if you have a local by-law.

Just because you report someone for the offence doesn't mean that the 'process fairy' comes along and waves her magic wand and sprinkles prosecution dust.

The matter would normally be considered by the local authority so YOU would have to make an appointment to see them or otherwise pass the file over if there is some kind of agreed procedure- try finding a reg who would do that for you.

Places like Westminster would probably be experienced at receiving such files, but some little unitary authority in a leafy county may well have to blow the dust of the local by-law books and may well not proceed with it.

Unless you know the procedures and protocols for reporting local by-laws I wouldn't bother.




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