Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
02nd May 2014
Earlier this year, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 was passed, bringing about changes in powers used to deal with anti-social behaviour.
It has now been announced that the provisions relating to the new discretionary grounds for possession and those relating to community remedies will come into force on 13 May 2014.
In light of these imminent changes, this newsflash provides you with a brief breakdown of the Act and offers you the chance to find out more at our annual Housing Management Law School.
The Act looks to replace the existing 19 powers currently used for dealing with anti-social behaviour and condenses these into the following six.
Part 1 of the Act represents a radical departure from settled law that injunctions are not generally available against minors. Now, under the Act you can obtain an injunction against anyone over the age of 10. In effect, these injunctions will become the new form of “ASBO” for Registered Providers to use to tackle nuisance caused by those aged between 10 and 18.
Criminal Behaviour Orders (“CBO”)
CBOs will replace the post-conviction ASBO, or “CRASBO” as it became known. Where an offender has been convicted of an offence, the Court may make a CBO if it is satisfied that the offender has caused (or was likely by his behaviour to cause) harassment, alarm or distress to any person, and that the CBO will help to prevent this behaviour.
These powers are only available to the Police. An Inspector (or above) may authorise “dispersal powers” in a specified locality for up to 48 hours, if satisfied on reasonable grounds that the powers are necessary to remove or reduce the likelihood of crime, disorder, or members of the public being harassed, alarmed or distressed.
The Police or the relevant local authority will be able to issue a Community Protection Notice (“CPN”) against anyone over the age of 16 where their conduct is negatively affecting the quality of life of people in the locality.
Failure to comply with a CPN will be a criminal offence leading to imprisonment and/or a fine. As an alternative to prosecution, a fixed penalty notice (“FPN”) may be offered. This can allow a lower amount to be paid if payment is made in less than 14 days – similar to how a parking offence might be dealt with.
The Act also allows for local authorities (in consultation with the Police) to issue Public Space Protection Orders (“PSPO”). This is an order to prevent detrimental activities from taking place in certain areas.
Where there has been offensive or criminal behaviour at the property which results in serious nuisance or disorder, the Act allows you to seek a Closure Notice, followed by a Closure Order in the Magistrates Court.
Possession on the grounds of ASB
New grounds for mandatory possession of premises held on secure or assured tenancies can be relied upon where the tenant, a member of their household or visitor has been:
- convicted of a serious criminal offence which was committed in the locality of the property, or against a person with a right to reside in the locality, or against the landlord, agent or contractor; or
- found to have breached a s.1 Injunction to prevent nuisance or annoyance in the locality of the property, or against a person in the locality; or against the landlord, agent or contractor; or
- convicted for a breach of a CBO; or
- the property has been subject to a closure order; or
- convicted of an offence for breach of a noise abatement notice or court order under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
A further ground for discretionary possession will also be introduced by the Act which allows the Court to order possession for both secure and assured tenancies following conviction for an indictable offence which, controversially, took place anywhere in the UK and not just in the locality of the property.
Local Involvement and accountability
Under the Act, policing bodies will need to prepare and publish a Community Remedy Document for their particular area. This will set out a number of informal remedies to deal with anti-social behaviour without the need to go to Court, for example: paying compensation to victims or mediation.
The Act also introduces a Community Trigger, which requires the Police and local authorities to take action against recurring anti-social behaviour when a certain number of complaints are received.
How can I find out more?
You are invited to attend our free annual Housing Management Law School!
This takes place between 9:00am-12:00pm in our offices in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle on the following dates:
- Leeds office on 13 May 2014
- Manchester office on 15 May 2014
- Newcastle office on 21 May 2014
If you or your colleagues are interested in attending, please follow the links above for further information and to book your place.
We look forward to seeing you there!
To find out more or to ask any questions arising from this recent decision, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.
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