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Columbia Police Department: Unlawful Communication

UNLAWFUL COMMUNICATION


This page will explain to you what Unlawful Communication is, and will help you determine if you should use our online reporting system to file a report.

What is Unlawful Communication?


Unlawful Communication is the use of a telephone or other electronic means to:

  • communicate words or language of a profane, vulgar, or lewd nature, or convey an obscene, vulgar, indecent, profane, suggestive, or immoral message to another person

  • threaten an unlawful act with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass another person

  • repeatedly contact, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of annoying or harassing another person or his family

  • make false statements concerning the death or injury of a family member, with the intent to annoy, frighten, or terrify the person


Examples of Unlawful Communication

  • An man calls his ex-girlfriend repeatedly hangs up when she answers the phone.

  • An woman sends a text message to her ex-husband and threatens to take him back to court for a child support increase if he doesn't give her $500 immediately.


When to not use the online report

Do not use the online reporting system for Unlawful Communication if there has been any threat of serious bodily injury or death to yourself or a family member. If you receive a threat of bodily injury or death, please call (803) 252-2911 and have an officer respond to you.

If you feel your incident fits in the Unlawful Communication category, please use the follow tips when completing your report:

When filling out the incident report, there will be a number of information fields and options. Only fields marked with a * are required; however, the other fields may help us if we need to contact you.

What to write in the Incident Description section

When completing the incident description section, remember that the keys to a good description are accuracy and brevity. Include what happened, where it happened, when it happened, how it happened, and who did it (if applicable). Do not include opinions or information that is not related to the incident. Below is an example of how an incident description should be written for a unlawful communications report:

"At listed date and time, subject, who is my ex boyfriend, called from (803)555-1212, and left a message on my answering machine that said 'You'd better watch your back, I'm watching you!'."

After completing your report, please contact your phone service provider or internet service provider, with the report number you receive at the end of this process. Follow your phone or internet service provider's instructions and keep track of all calls (if you have caller ID), text, or email messages.

 
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