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Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

ANNEX B: Summary of Powers to Tackle Anti-Social Behaviour to Be Replaced by the Provisions in Parts 1 to 4 of the Act

The anti-social behaviour order

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (“ASBOs”) are civil orders to protect the public from behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress. The Order prohibits the individual from going to specified places or from doing specified things and was established by sections 1 to 4 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended by the Police Reform Act 2002).

Since 2002 the criminal burden of proof (beyond reasonable doubt) has been required to grant an ASBO (the McCann ruling). An ASBO can be granted to anyone above the age of 10. The ASBO must be granted for a minimum of 2 years, there is no maximum term and Orders can be of indefinite duration.

Breach of an ASBO is a criminal offence and can be heard in the Crown Court, magistrates’ court, or Youth Court. On summary conviction the individual may be liable to imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (£5,000); or on conviction on indictment the individual may be liable to imprisonment for up to five years.

There are two different types of ASBO – the ASBO on conviction and the ASBO on application. The ASBO on conviction is a civil order attached to a criminal conviction in the Crown Court, magistrates’ court or youth court and is applied for by the prosecutor at the request of the local authority or police. The ASBO on application can be used where someone has not been convicted of a criminal offence but is causing harassment, alarm or distress to others.

The ASBO on conviction will be replaced by the Criminal Behaviour Order, whilst the ASBO on application will be replaced by the injunction to prevent nuisance and annoyance.

The drinking banning order

Drinking Banning Orders (“DBOs”) are used to tackle alcohol-related criminal or disorderly behaviour and were established by Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.

The Drinking Banning Order is a civil order attached to a criminal conviction in the Crown Court, magistrates’ court or Youth Court. It is considered automatically alongside a conviction for alcohol-related crime or disorder. They can be made either on application to the courts by the police or local authority.

The test for granting a DBO is that the order is necessary to protect others from criminal or disorderly conduct. There is no requirement to prove past anti-social behaviour.

DBOs can be made against an individual aged 16 years and over. They can be granted for a minimum term of six months and a maximum of two years. Breach of a DBO without reasonable excuse is an offence punishable by a fine of up to £2,500.

As with the ASBO, there are two different types of DBO – a DBO on conviction and a DBO on application. The DBO on conviction will be replaced by the criminal behaviour order, whilst the DBO on application will be replaced by the injunction to prevent nuisance and annoyance.

The anti-social behaviour injunction

The Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction (“ASBI”) was established under section 152 of the Housing Act 1996. The injunction under section 152 was recast in broader terms when it was repealed and replaced with section 153A of the Housing Act 1996 (introduced by section 13 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003). Section 153A was subsequently amended by section 26 of the Police and Justice Act 2006).

The ASBI is used to prevent anti-social behaviour being committed by a tenant, and can be applied for by registered providers of social housing, housing action trusts and local housing authorities. It is a civil order applied for in the County Court, and the individual must be over the age of 18. The test is that conduct is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in the premises or the locality of the premises; and that the individual has used or threatened to use violence and there is a significant risk of harm if the injunction is not granted. The injunction can also be granted if the individual’s behaviour directly or indirectly relates to or affects the housing providers’ management functions. The civil standard of proof applies, namely the balance of probabilities. There is no statutory minimum or maximum term for the Injunction. A power of arrest can be attached to one or more of the provisions in an ASBI if the individual has used or threatened to use violence and there is a significant risk of harm. Breach of an ASBI is not a criminal offence, it is a contempt of court heard in the County Court. Contempt of court carries an unlimited fine and/or up to two years in prison.

Individual support orders and intervention orders

Individual support orders (“ISOs”) are civil orders which can be attached to ASBOs for 10 to 17 year olds. They can last up to six months and impose positive requirements to tackle underlying causes of anti-social behaviour – for instance, attendance at alcohol treatment centres or anger management counselling. A court is required to consider attaching an ISO when issuing and ASBO to a young person. Intervention orders perform a similar function for adults.

The litter clearing notice

Established by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 (which inserted sections 92A to 92C into the Environmental Protection Act 1990), the litter clearing notice is used by local authorities to require businesses and individuals to remove litter from land in their area. It must be served on the occupier or owner of the land and requires the clearance of litter and specific steps to prevent its recurrence. Non-compliance with a litter clearing notice is a criminal offence, and on summary proceedings the individual may be liable to a fixed penalty notice of £100 or a fine of up to £2,500.

The street litter clearing notice

Established by sections 93 and 94 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended by section 20 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005), the Street Litter Clearing Notice is used by the local authority to place requirements on businesses to remove litter from the area around their business premises. It can be used against specified retail and commercial premises where there is a persistent problem with litter. Failure to comply with a Street Litter Control Notice is a criminal offence and can result in a fixed penalty notice or a fine of up to £2,500.

The defacement removal notice

Established by sections 48 to 52 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, the defacement removal notice is issued by the local authority and can be served on bodies that are responsible for a surface defaced by graffiti or fly-posting. This can include the owner of street furniture (bus shelters, street signs and phone boxes and property belonging to “statutory undertakers” such as Network Rail, and educational institutions). The notice gives a minimum of 28 days for the removal of the graffiti or fly-posters. If after that time it has not been removed, the local authority can remove it and recover its costs.

The designated public place order

Established by section 13 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, designated public place orders (“DPPOs”) are orders made by local authorities. The DPPO is used to place restrictions on public drinking in areas that have experienced alcohol-related disorder or nuisance. The local authority must consult the police, parish council and licensees of any premises which may be affected before making the order. They must also take reasonable steps to consult the owners or occupiers of any land within the area, and are required to consider any representations received. The local authority must publish details of the DPPO in a newspaper and put up signs in the area.

Where a member of the public is caught drinking in an area designated by a DPPO, a police officer, police community support officer or person designated under a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme can require the individual to stop drinking and ask them to hand over any alcohol. If the person fails to comply with the request they commit a criminal offence punishable by a Penalty Notice for Disorder or, on conviction, a fine of up to £500.

The gating order

Established by section 2 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, gating orders enable local authorities to prevent crime or anti-social behaviour by restricting public access to a public highway with a gate or barrier. The local authority must consult on the proposed order and anyone may comment. There is no penalty for breach.

The dog control order

Established by sections 55 to 67 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, local authorities and parish councils can use dog control orders (“DCOs”) to cover the five offences below:

a.

failing to remove dog faeces;

b.

not keeping a dog on a lead;

c.

not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer;

d.

permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded; or

e.

taking more than a specified number of dogs on to land.

The local authority must publish a notice describing the proposed order in a local newspaper and invite representations on the proposal. Breach of the DCO is an offence punishable by a fixed penalty notice or, on conviction, a fine of up to £1,000.

The anti-social behaviour premises closure order

The anti-social behaviour premises closure order was established by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (which inserted new Part 1A into the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003).

Premises may be closed for up to three months (extendable for up to six months) by a magistrates’ court on an application made by the police or a local authorities. A magistrates’ court may make such an order if satisfied that: a person has engaged in anti-social behaviour on the premises in question; the use of the premises is associated with significant and persistent disorder or persistent serious nuisance to members of the public; and that the making of the order is necessary to prevent the occurrence of such disorder or nuisance for the period specified in the order.

Breach of the closure order is an offence. A person guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, a fine of up to £5,000, or both.

The “crack house closure order”

Established by Part 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, the crack house closure order is used by police to close any premises (business or residential), where the unlawful use, production or supply of Class A drugs is taking place and causing disorder or serious nuisance to the local community. The initial notice closes the premises for 48 hours and within this time the police must make an application to the magistrates’ court to issue a closure order for three months. The test is that there is a reasonable belief that the premises is being used for the unlawful use, production or supply of Class A drugs, and is associated with disorder or serious nuisance. The closure order can be extended to a maximum of six months.

It is an offence for any person including the owner, tenant or licensee landlord of the premises to obstruct the police or breach the order by remaining in the property or entering the property. Breach of the order can result in up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000, or both.

The “noisy premises closure order”

Established by sections 40 to 41 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, a noisy premises closure order requires the premises to be kept closed for a specified period not exceeding 24 hours, starting from when the manager of the premises receives written notice of the order.

This gives a local authority’s chief executive, or an authorised environmental health officer, the power to close noisy premises where these cause a public noise nuisance. These can be licensed premises or premises operating under a temporary event notice.

It is a criminal offence to allow the premises to open when a closure order is in place. The offence is punishable on summary conviction by a maximum fine of £20,000 and/or a maximum prison sentence of three months.

The section 161 closure order

Established by sections 161 to 170 of the Licensing Act 2003, this extends the existing powers of the police to instantly close, for up to 24 hours, licensed premises that are associated with disorder or causing noise nuisance, or to apply to the magistrates’ court to close all licensed premises within a geographical area in anticipation of disorder.

A closure order requires the premises to be kept closed for a specified period not exceeding 24 hours.

It is a criminal offence to allow the premises to open when a closure order is in place. The offence is punishable on summary conviction by a maximum fine of £20,000 and/or a maximum prison sentence of three months.

The section 30 dispersal order

Established by sections 30 to 36 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, this gives the police, working with local authorities, powers to target action in problem areas to help communities remove intimidation and anti-social behaviour from their streets.

The powers enable a senior police officer to designate an area where there is persistent anti-social behaviour and a problem with groups causing intimidation.

The local authority must also agree the designation; usually this decision will be made as part of the strategic work of a Crime and Disorder Partnership.

The decision to designate an area must be published in a local newspaper or by notices in the local area. The designation can then last for up to six months.

Police officers and police community support officers can use this power.

A refusal to follow the officer’s directions to disperse is a summary offence. The penalty on conviction for this offence is a fine not exceeding £2,500 or a maximum of three months’ imprisonment (for adults).

The section 27 direction to leave

Established by section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 this provides a constable in uniform with a power to issue a direction to an individual aged 16 years or over to leave a locality.

The constable can apply the direction if they are satisfied that the individual’s presence is likely to contribute to the occurrence, repetition or continuance of alcohol-related crime and disorder. The direction can prohibit the person’s return for up to 48 hours. Failure to comply with a direction is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine of up to £2,500.

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