Age Article

In the Age, was reported that unusually, Victoria Police recorded 253 blackmail offences in the year to June 2022, an increase from the year before of 164 offences and a spike of more than 50 per cent. The other highest period was in 2019 at 174 offences.

Dangerous driving offences were up by 300 on the year before, as were privacy offences, which jumped from 183 to 556 in the past 12 months and were also the highest recorded since 2013.

The agency said the overall drop was driven by a 70 per cent reduction in breaches of COVID-19 directions by the chief health officer from the previous year.

Other crimes on the decline were fraud (obtaining benefit by deception), which fell by about 20 per cent, and drug possession offences, which fell about 17 per cent. Read more at the Age.

Blackmail is a Crime

In Division 2, Theft and similar or associated offences, of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) under s 87:

(1) A person is guilty of blackmail if, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, he makes any unwarranted demand with menaces; and for this purpose a demand with menaces is unwarranted unless the person making it does so in the belief—

(1)(a) that he has reasonable grounds for making the demand; and

(1)(b) that the use of the menaces is proper means of reinforcing the demand.

(2) The nature of the act or omission demanded is immaterial, and it is also immaterial whether the menaces relate to action to be taken by the person making the demand.

(3) A person guilty of blackmail is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 4 imprisonment (15 years maximum).

When in doubt, just don’t threaten

The issue with blackmail can be for many is that sometimes does not seem like an illegal activity.  Telling someone to fix a bad behaviour or you will go to the Police seems reasonable.  However, depending how this ultimatum is issued and worded; it may be that the threat rises to blackmail.

If another is engaging in Blackmail with you or your business, contact our lawyers to discuss.

Cogent Legal