House of Commons Library

Anti-social behaviour- new provisions

Published Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Substantial changes to the law on anti-social behaviour have come into force as a result of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. The Government is replacing a number of the legal remedies currently available. This Note gives a summary of the new powers.

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Substantial changes to the law on anti-social behaviour have come into force as a result of the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. The legal remedies currently available have changed. Library Standard Note 4073, Anti-Social Behaviour Remedies- an overview offers a general overview of the previous position, published in 2012.

One of the main changes is the replacement of Anti-social Behaviour Orders with Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNAs) When the Bill was originally introduced, the definition of anti-social behaviour to be used with the IPNA was broad: that the respondent “has engaged or is threatening to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person” (see clause 1).

In the event, the definition was changed in the Lords (HL Deb 8 January 2014 c1543) and the Government did not reverse this in the Commons. The definition in section 2 of the 2014 Act will be very similar to the existing one, and is, “conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person”. Housing-related anti-social behaviour will be defined as conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises.

The Home Office published in July 2014 its statutory guidance to the anti-social behaviour powers in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.. This gives a good overview of the new powers in comparison with current ones still in force. The new powers include community triggers, behaviour orders and dispersal powers as well as IPNAs.

In an updating note (Crime and Policing News Update July 2014), the Government indicated that the new powers in Parts 1 to 6 of the Act would come into force on 20 October 2014. However, the need to make changes to allow minors under 18 access to legal aid delayed the commencement of IPNAs, and part 1 will now come into force on 23 March 2015.

Commons Briefing papers SN06950

Author: Oonagh Gay

Topics: Administration of justice, Anti-social behaviour, Crime

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