Malicious Communications

Malicious Communications

Here at Gravity FM we take the welfare and safety of our staff and volunteers very seriously.  We welcome communication from our listeners in a wide range of formats, after all we are a community station.  However all interaction must be appropriate – malicious communications are never acceptable.  We do not tolerate messages that are obscene, indecent, abusive, threatening or otherwise considered seriously socially unacceptable.

Unfortunately, like most radio stations, we receive a small number of messages that are not appropriate.  We are pleased to say they are very rare but we want you to be aware that we take them very seriously.  All our staff and volunteers are instructed to report any communication they receive as a result of their involvement with the station that they find abusive, offensive, inappropriate or worrying to the station management team.  These may be electronic messages, social messaging posts, telephone calls or written communication and may be received through the station’s systems or externally. In common with most UK media companies, we often record communications to and from the station including the recording of all material broadcast to air.

Where the message (malicious communication) is transmitted through a system under our control we will record the details, preserve a copy for evidence where possible and remove it from general availability.  Where messages are transmitted through a system not within our direct control we will seek to achieve the same action from the system controller.  In addition, we reserve the right to take such action as we consider necessary to prevent a reoccurrence including banning users for certain services and action through the courts in serious cases.

Gravity FM, its Directors and the management team will always provide full support and cooperation to the police and other authorities in pursuing the investigation of criminal offences.  Where a communication is itself a criminal offence or where a communication gives rise to concerns of criminal activity it will be reported to Lincolnshire Police.

We also have additional duties to protect young people and other vulnerable groups (Safeguarding).  All young people involved with the station are advised to protect their personal contact details and not to interact personally with anyone they do not know in real life.  We have systems in place that allow listeners and others to interact with them appropriately through the station and request that these are always respected in order to prevent any misunderstanding developing.  Gravity FM works closely with the local safeguarding authorities to protect young and vulnerable people through SAFE CIC and Lincolnshire CVS.

CEOP – Child Exploitation & Online Protection

Here at Gravity FM we fully support CEOP’s efforts to make the internet a safer place for children and young people.  We’ve added the CEOP Report Abuse link to every page.

Don’t suffer in silence – report it.

Malicious Communications Offences

The Malicious Communications Act 1988 Section 1 (as amended by Section 43 Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001) makes it an offence for any person to send to another person a letter, electronic communication or article of any description which conveys a message which is indecent or grossly offensive, a threat or information which is false and known or believed to be false by the sender where the purpose, or one of the purposes, in sending it is that it should cause distress or anxiety.  It is also an offence to send to another person any article or electronic communication which is, in whole or part, of an indecent or grossly offensive nature for the same purpose.

The more recent Communications Act 2003 Section 127 extends these offences by making a person is guilty of an offence if he sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any such message or matter to be so sent.  A person is also guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, he sends by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he knows to be false; causes such a message to be sent; or persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network.

A person guilty of an offence under either of these sections shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.

Anti-Social Behaviour Offences

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 establishes a definition for Anti-Social Behaviour as “acting in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress”.  The police and courts have a wide range of powers to manage and prevent these offences.