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(p. 1066) 25. Blackmail and related offences 

(p. 1066) 25. Blackmail and related offences
(p. 1066) 25. Blackmail and related offences

David Ormerod

and Karl Laird

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date: 21 February 2020

This chapter deals with blackmail and related offences in the UK. The crime of blackmail involves making any unwarranted demand with menaces and in many cases is more appropriately viewed as an offence against privacy. Blackmail initially appears to have been coextensive with robbery and attempted robbery, but has since embraced more subtle methods of extortion. The law is currently set out in Section 21 of the Theft Act 1968. The offence does not include demands for sexual intercourse or other acts of a sexual nature, which are dealt with under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This chapter also considers unwarranted demand, the paradox of blackmail, the requirement of a view to gain or intent to cause loss, unlawful harassment of debtors, and other offences based on threats including threats to kill, threats to damage property, threats of food terrorism, demanding payment for unsolicited goods with threats, robbery, assaults, threats of violence for the purpose of securing entry to premises, and sending malicious communications.

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