“Sending Defamatory Messages Is An Offence”

October 22, 2019

Noting that images of a “defamatory message” that was spray painted on Harbour Road in Paget were circulated on social media, the police have reminded the public that “sending defamatory messages is an offence.”

A police spokesperson said, “Around 7:40am Tuesday, October 22nd a report of willful damage was made to police regarding offensive graffiti spray painted on the wall of a Harbour Road, Paget residence near Lower Ferry.

“The offensive graffiti has since been painted over, but not before images of the defamatory message were circulated on social media.

“The Bermuda Police Service would like to advise members of the public not to further circulate the defamatory message – or any similar message. As a reminder, sending defamatory messages is an offence under the Electronic Communications Act 2011, Section 68 which states:

68 [1] Any person commits an offence triable either way if he -
[a.] Sends, by means of a public electronic communications service, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character;

“And the punishment on conviction is outlined in section 68 [1] [d] which states:

68 [1] [d.] knowingly permits any electronic communications apparatus under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this subsection, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for one year or a fine of $25,000, or both.

“Anyone with any information about the offensive graffiti spray painted on the Harbour Road, Paget property is encouraged to call the main police telephone number 295-0011.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Jason Swan says:

    Come on BPS. Talk about clutching at straws to try and scaremonger people in to not sending the messages around…….

  2. VAJ says:

    This law covers sending defamatory or menacing messages to people. It doesn’t cover sending photos of a publicly posted message to people that aren’t defamed or offended by it. Way to go BPS.

  3. Wahoo says:

    Headline should read “sending offensive message is self defamatory^. I don’t know what the message was but I can only imagine.

  4. HolyHolly says:

    Of course, if the message is true, there is no defamation.