ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

WHAT IT IS AND

THE CONSEQUENCES

The crime and disorder act (1998) defines anti-social behaviour as

 

‘behaviour which causes or is likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress to one or more people who are not in the same household as the perpetrator.’

Examples of ASB include:

  • harassment of residents or passers by
  • smoking or drinking alcohol underage
  • engaging in threatening behaviour in large groups
  • verbal abuse
  • criminal damage
  • vandalism or graffiti
  • assault
  • noise nuisance
  • throwing missiles
  • racial abuse
  • vehicle crime

ABCs

 

An ABC (acceptable behaviour contract) is a written agreement between a young person, the council and the local police. The contract states that the young person is not allowed to behave in a way that is or could be seen as anti-social. It lists things that the young person is not allowed to do e.g. graffiti, swearing etc.

 

This is a voluntary contract and it is not an offence to break it, but if it is broken it can be used as evidence for further action to be taken.

 

In October 2014, the Government changed the powers that police and local authorities have when dealing with ASB. An update of these powers will follow shortly.

Public Spaces Protection Order

 

The Public Spaces Protection Order aims to stop people from regularly causing problems in a particular public place (e.g. dogs not on a lead, litter, playing loud music, skating) by.

 

Once it is in place it can last for 3 years and can be enforced by the Police.

 

A ‘breach’ is where people do not keep to the conditions of the order; this is a criminal offence that can lead to a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 or a maximum penalty of a £1,000 fine.

Dispersal power

 

The Dispersal Power allows the Police to ask people who are acting anti-socially or are likely to get involved in ASB to leave an area for up to 48 hrs.

 

The dispersal can be authorised by a police inspector and allows the police officers to decide the time, area and even the route to leave. Items can also be taken from the individual causing problems e.g. alcohol.

 

Breach of the dispersal is a criminal offence. If the person does not move on they could received a fine of up to £2,500 and/or up to 3 months in prison, and if they refuse to hand over items to the Police they could be fined up to £500.

 

The Injunction

 

 Injunctions are issued by the Youth Court and are aimed at behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress (in public spaces such as parks, shopping centres) or nuisance or annoyance (if close to people’s houses etc.). The Police and/ or Council can apply for an injunction.

 

As well as having conditions (prohibitions) that mean you cannot be involved in certain behaviours, it can also make you do certain things, for example take part in activity or a course or that will help change the behaviour (or deal with the cause of the behaviour) these are called positive requirements.

 

Breach (or not keeping to the conditions of the injunction) is not a criminal offence BUT it is classed as “Contempt of Court” and can lead to supervision or an activity requirement for under 18 year olds and as a last resort, imprisonment for up to 3 months for 14-17 year olds. Over 18s could receive an unlimited fine or up to 2 years in prison.

 

 

Criminal Behaviour Order

 

This can be issued by a criminal court after a person is found guilty of an offence. It is applied for at the request of council or police. As well as having conditions (prohibitions) preventing certain behaviours, it can also make you do certain things, for example take part in activity or a course or that will help change the behaviour (or deal with the cause of the behaviour) these are called positive requirements.

 

Breaching (not keeping to the conditions) of the Criminal Behaviour Order is a criminal offence and can lead to a 2-year Detention and Training Order for under 18’s and up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine for over 18’s.

 

Produced by Graphics Studio, Dudley Council

Community Safety

Dudley Council

Brierley Hill Police Station

Bank Street, Brierley Hill

(Please note no personal callers)

 

email: community.safety@dudley.gov.uk