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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Yes, protect your email address. Only distribute your e-mail address to those people who you wish to have it.

Also, if you do find yourself receiving a lot of unsolicited e-mails, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP). They can block future e-mails from the sender. If you are able to determine the ISP of the sender, then it may also be worth forwarding the message to the email address of abuse@ - the ISP 's name, stating that it was unwanted spam email.

This is an important step that can help you and thousands of other subscribers. Once an ISP has reason to believe their network is being used to send unlawful unsolicited commercial e-mail, they can block all further e-mail sent to its subscribers from the address or domain name of the sender.

Never reply to 'spammers ', and never buy anything from them!

Educate yourself about filtering. A number of e-mail programs, including, Eudora Pro, Microsoft's Outlook Express and Pegasus, have filtering features that let you set criteria to stop unwanted e-mail before it reaches your computer, or once it does, move it to a trash box where you can delete it without reading it.

The Internet Watch Foundation and the BBC have some information on steps that can be taken to reduce and safeguard against spam mail, see websites in related information.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.