Section 19 – Authorisations
54.Section 19 allows a senior police officer (that is an officer of or above the rank of superintendent) to issue an authorisation of the exercise of the powers under section 21 in respect of a particular locality within their police area. This can only be done where that senior officer has reasonable grounds for believing that alarm or distress has been caused to members of the public by the presence or behaviour of groups of two or more persons in public places in that locality. That locality is defined as “a relevant locality” for the purposes of Part 3 at subsection (1). Before giving an authorisation the senior officer must also have reasonable grounds for believing that antisocial behaviour is a significant, persistent and serious problem in the relevant locality.
55.Subsection (2) sets out that such an authorisation may last for a specific period and that the authorisation may also choose to refer to times or days within the period: for example to Friday and Saturday nights. Subsection (3) sets out the form in which the authorisation must appear and what it must include (for example when the powers are exercisable). Subsection (4) provides that the senior officer must consult the local authority or authorities whose area includes the whole or part of the relevant locality before giving an authorisation; and subsection (5) that the authorisation shall not exceed 3 months.