public mischief

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Conduct damaging the interests of the community; for example, making bogus telephone calls to the police. Until 1975 this was regarded as a crime but it is now no longer so regarded, nor is conspiracy to effect a public mischief. There is, however, a special statutory offence of wasting police time (Criminal Law Act 1967 s 5) and it is also an offence if a person knowingly gives or causes to be given a false alarm of fire to a person acting on behalf of a fire rescue authority (Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 s 49). See also bomb hoax; sending distressing letters.

Subjects: Law.

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