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Police Reform Act 2002

Section 61: Anti-social behaviour orders

331.Section 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 enables certain ‘relevant authorities’ – councils for local government areas and chief officers of police – to apply for ASBOs. Anti-social behaviour orders can be made in relation to persons of 10 years and over who have acted in an anti-social manner and where the order is necessary to protect the public from further anti-social acts. Section 1 defines an anti-social manner as that which ‘caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household’. An ASBO prohibits the person under the order from doing anything described in the order.

332.In January 2002, the Home Office published A review of anti-social behaviour orders (Home Office Research Study 236). Some of the recommendations contained in that report are enacted in sections 61 to 66.

333.This section amends section 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

334.Subsection (2) replaces subsection (1)(b). It enables the courts to protect people from acts of anti-social behaviour irrespective of the local government area in which the initial acts of anti-social behaviour were carried out.

335.Subsection (3) removes the existing definition of a ‘relevant authority’ (‘the council for the local government area, or any chief officer of police any part of whose police area lies within that area’). It is replaced by new subsections (1A) and (1B), which are introduced by subsection (4). Subsection (1A) defines the list of relevant authorities able to apply for orders. It adds the British Transport Police and registered social landlords to the list and continues the provision for a council for a local government area or chief officers of police to make applications. Subsection (1B) sets out the ‘relevant persons’ whom a ‘relevant authority’ may apply to protect. The British Transport Police may apply for ASBOs to protect people from anti-social behaviour on or in the vicinity of premises policed by them. Similarly, registered social landlords may apply for ASBOs to protect people from anti-social behaviour on or in the vicinity of premises owned by them. Local councils and chief officers of police may now apply to protect people within their area, whether or not the original anti-social behaviour took place in their area.

336.Subsection (7) replaces section 1(6) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Subsection (6) currently restricts courts to making ASBOs for the protection of people in a single local government area or a single local government area and adjoining local government areas. Subsection (6) also currently states that adjoining local government areas must be consulted before they are specified in an application. As amended, it enables the courts to make ASBOs for the protection of persons anywhere in England and Wales as necessary, and removes the need for consultation of adjoining areas.

337.Subsection (8) is a drafting amendment to make the meaning of subsection (10) clearer, and to ensure consistency with other legislation. It inserts into subsection (10) an explicit statement that contravening an order is an offence. The amendment does not make any substantive change.

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