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Tackling aggressive antisocial behaviour

Published Friday, October 6, 2017

A Westminster Hall debate on Tackling aggressive antisocial behaviour is scheduled for Tuesday 10 October 2017 at 9.30am. The Member leading the debate is Steve McCabe MP.

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In addition to the debate in Westminster Hall, this will be a 'Digital Debate'. Information about this can be found here on the Parliament website. The Facebook event can be found here.

Summary

The Labour Government introduced a large number of new “tools” to deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB), the most well-known of which was the Anti-social Behaviour Order (ASBO), a civil order which could impose prohibitions on perpetrators. Whilst some of the powers, like ASBOs, were very broad, others were designed to deal with very specific problems, such as litter or graffiti.   With the introduction of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the legislation covering ASBOs and ASBIs was repealed and the ASBO replaced by two new measures: a civil injunction often known as an Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNA), and the Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO). Whilst breach of an ASBO was a criminal offence, punishable by up to five years imprisonment breach of an IPNA is not, but is instead is punishable as contempt of court by up to two years imprisonment.

The issue of motorcycle enabled crime and anti-social behaviour is one which has come to the fore recently. Some press articles have suggested that the police are reluctant to pursue mopeds (particularly when the drivers or passengers remove their helmets) as they risk prosecution or disciplinary proceedings for any accidents that follow. Four Metropolitan Police officers faced disciplinary proceedings following the death of Henry Hicks.  However, College of Policing guidance does not advise against pursuits of people not wearing safety equipment in all circumstances, although it does say that where possible it is preferable to use pre-emptive tactics.

The general law on dangerous and careless driving applies to police “response” drivers, in that they are expected to exhibit the care and skill of a competent and careful driver. There are, however, some specific legal exemptions for emergency vehicles, including observing speed limits and complying with traffic lights.

The Police Federation is currently campaigning to change dangerous driving legislation so that police officers who engage in pursuit and response drives are better protected from prosecution. On 25 September 2017, several newspapers reported that the Home Office has launched a review of the law regarding police pursuits to ensure officers feel they have legal protection to go after moped and scooter gangs. The Home Office published the comments of the policing minister on the subject. 

Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0171

Authors: Pat Strickland; Grahame Allen; Sarah Pepin

Topics: Anti-social behaviour, Crime

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