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What is Malicious Communications?

#CyberSafeWarks will be providing information and advice over the next week on the dangers of #MaliciousComms, how to protect yourself, spotting the signs and where to report if you have fallen victim.


If a person sends threatening, abusive or offensive messages to another person via Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site, they could be committing an offence known as malicious communications. The purpose for sending it is to cause distress or anxiety to the person it is sent to.  

It is an offence of Malicious Comms as soon as the communication is sent, and does not even have to be received by the intended person. It is the sending and intent of the offender which counts as an offence. 

Receiving two or more nuisance or threatening communications could amount to an offence of harrassment. The communication does not necessarily have to be violent in nature, but it would need to be oppressive and cause alarm or distress.

Here are some actions that you can take if you were to receive any malicious communications when using social media and text messaging:

1. Don't reply

It is important to not reply to any messages as this may encourage the sender and make the situation worse. 

2. Screenshot

Ensure that you screenshot and log any evidence where possible. This could be used to assist the police with a possible investigation. 

3. Block/Mute

You can block or mute the individual or group that are sending you these messages. If you chose to mute the individual or the group then they will not know that you have done this. 

4. Report it 

Report it to the social media website (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc)

  • You may wish to make a report to the social media website. They have processes in place for these situations.

Warwickshire Police

  • Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the messages they can progress the matter further based on the full facts and your individual situation. 
  • If the incident has just taken place and you are in immediete danger call 999. 

These incidents can cause an individual significant distress and anxiety. Victim Support is an independent charity that help people affected by crime and traumatic events. 

You do not need to go to the Police to access these services and can access this via