Malicious Phone Call Legislation in the UK

First published February 2009

by Greg Smith
Mobile Telephone Evidence & Forensics

It is being noted that there is an exponential growth in harassing and intimidating calls from financial companies, card companies and from outsource debt collection firms chasing payments where people have got behind with payment due as a direct consequence of this recession. Remember no one can plan for a recession, which in the UK was said to be unforeseeable because of the ‘no more boom and bust’ guarantee. For those who are made victims by people who seek to scare and frighten by making telephone calls I thought it would be useful to set out a list of some useful legislation associated with malicious, nuisance, threatening and harassing conduct that includes calls by landline or mobile ‘phone. Also some suggestions about services available from operators to deal with unwanted calls.


– The Communications Act 2003

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– Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice)(Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000 (“LBP Regulations”)

– Statutory Instrument 1999 No. 2093 The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999

– Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

– Human Rights Act 1998

– Data Protection Act 1998

– The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003

– Protection from Harassment Act 1997

– There is some useful advice from West Midlands Police, here at this link:

Network Operator – Barring calls

If you have a BT landline, for instance, do remember they do have the service “Choose to Refuse” which can be dialled after an unwanted call. BT may charge a quarterly fee:

Dial ‘14258’ followed by ‘*’ ‘*’. This is used where the Call Line Identification Number is displayed.

Where you receive malicious, nuisance, threatening and/or harassing calls from callers withholding their number, BT has the facility ‘Anonymous Call Rejection’:

– To Set Up (active): *227#
– To Cancel (deactivate): #227#
– To Check (whether service active): *#227#

Do check with your landline and mobile operator about services they may have in place to deal with unwanted called and, again, they may charge. For instance, for the mobile operators:

– Vodafone code for call barring is: 1919 (stated at their website)
– T-Mobile say call 150 from your mobile for assistance (stated at their website)
– O2 say call 100 from your mobile for assistance (stated at their website)
– Orange say call 150 from your mobile phone or 07973 100 150 from any phone (stated at their website)

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