What is Anti-Social Behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour has a huge impact on the quality of life of millions of people in England and Wales. Its corrosive effect blights communities and neighbourhoods, and it is often targeted at those members of society who are least able to protect themselves.
What is an Anti-Social Behaviour Order?An Anti-Social Behaviour Order ('ASBO') is a civil preventative order, is not itself a punitive measure, but a preventative one.
An order may be made by:
- A magistrates' court sitting in its civil jurisdiction;
- The Crown Court, a magistrates' court or a youth court where it convicts a defendant of a relevant offence, either following a request by the prosecutor or of the court's own volition; or
- A county court in existing proceedings.
What is the purpose of an ASBO?
The purpose of the ASBO is to protect the public from behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, and should reduce the risk of further anti-social behaviour by prohibiting the offender from doing certain things, such as going to a specified location, or drinking alcohol in a public place. The terms of the order will vary depending upon the anti-social behaviour that is complained of.
How long does an ASBO last?
The minimum length an ASBO can be made for is two years. The maximum is until further order.
How does the ASBO stop the offender from doing certain things?
The ASBO will include a number of prohibitions to stop the offender doing certain things, such as going to a shopping centre for a fixed period of time. Each prohibition must be reasonable, proportionate, realistic, practical, clear and enforceable. The prohibitions should not be imposed either to further punish an individual or to replicate a criminal offence if the sentence which could be passed following conviction for the offence would be a sufficient deterrent - they are designed to be preventative.
What is the CPS role with regard to ASBOs?
The CPS may seek an ASBO following conviction, pursuant to section 1C of the Crime and Disorder Act 1988. The CPS also has a role with regard to breach of ASBOs, as the breach of an ASBO is a criminal offence.