Osman warning

The term Osman warning is named after a 1998 legal case of Osman vs United Kingdom which was heard by the European Court of Human Rights. However the term in some areas is now known as a threat to life warning.

What is an Osman/threat to life warning?

It is a warning of a death threat or risk of murder, issued by the British police or authorities to the prospective victim.

Why do police issue threat to life notices?

They are used when there is intelligence of the threat, but there is not enough evidence to justify the police arresting the potential murderer.

What do they tell death threat victims?

Osman/threat to life warnings are issued if police have intelligence of a real and immediate threat to the life of an individual. Police officers will visit you at home to inform you of the potential danger. They advise you to change your schedule, be on the lookout for suspicious activity and sometimes even suggest temporarily moving home. However, they do make clear that the notice does not permit retaliatory action and you are still bound by the law.

Threat to life warnings’ are a police response to the human rights court’s requirement that the state sometimes has to be proactive in protecting people from threats.