Anti Social Behaviour


Anti Social Behaviour

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 defines anti social behaviour as being unacceptable activity carried out by an individual (or individuals) that can impinge on the quality of life of a person or community.
In simple terms, anti social behaviour is when a person acts in a manner that causes harassment or distress to another or others not of the same household as themselves.

Typical examples of anti social behaviour may include:

  • Drinking in the street
  • Buying or selling drugs in public
  • Misuse of fireworks
  • Fly-posting (classed as vandalism)
  • Prostitution and related activities
  • Writing graffiti (classed as vandalism)
  • Environmental damage including littering, dumping of rubbish and abandonment of cars etc
  • Begging and vagrancy
  • Inconsiderate or inappropriate use of vehicles


Antisocial Behaviour Penalties

Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

Anyone over the age of 10 behaving in an anti social manner can be given an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

Anti Social Behaviour can include:

  • drunken or threatening behaviour
  • vandalism and graffiti
  • playing loud music at night

Antis Social Behaviour Order’s (ASBO’s) are court orders applied for by the police, local authorities and registered social landlords. The aim of an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) is to protect victims or communities from anti social behaviour which has damaged their lifestyle and also prevent further re occurrences.

Anti Social Behaviour Order’s (ASBO’s) set down a strict set of rules that an individual must adhere to.  These rules may include:

  • going to a defined area in the community such as a local town centre
  • spending time with certain friends/ persons who are known trouble-makers
  • drinking in the street
  • threatening, intimidating or disruptive actions
  • leaving home after a certain time in the evening (a curfew)
  • committing any anti social or criminal acts

How long can an ASBO last?

An Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) will last for a minimum of 2 years. This is reviewed on a regular basis. If an individual demonstrates improvement in their behaviour then certain conditions of the Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) may be removed or changed.

Anti Social Behaviour Order’s (ASBO) are not criminal penalties. They are civil orders therefore do not appear on an individuals criminal record.
However, if an individual breaches the conditions of an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) they will have committed a criminal offence. The individual will then be expected to appear in court and the sentence passed will depend on the circumstances and age of the individual. They may be fined, given a community sentence or receive a prison sentence of up to five years.

Young offenders – Penalties for not obeying an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

Young offenders can be fined up to £250 (if aged 10 to 14) or up to £1,000 (if aged 15 to 17).
If the offender is under 16 the fine may have to be paid by the parents of the young offender.
Young Offenders may also receive a community sentence or, if over the age of 12, a detention and training order (DTO) for up to 24 months.

Adult offenders- Penalties for not obeying an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

Adult Offenders can be fined up to £5,000, sentenced to 5 years in prison, or both.

Criminal Anti Social Behaviour Order (CRASBO)

A Criminal Anti Social Behaviour Order (CRASBO) differs from an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) as the order is made in addition to a criminal conviction or a conditional discharge.

The aim of a CRASBO is to impose conditions on an individual and stop them from re offending and behaving in an antisocial manner. The conditions imposed will relate to the type of offence committed, (like those of an ASBO) and may include:

  • committing any anti social or criminal acts
  • associating with certain friends/ acquaintances
  • entering defined areas in the community
  • entering certain buildings, shopping areas etc
  • leaving home after a certain time in the evening – curfew

Criminal Anti Social Behaviour Order’s (CRASBO’s) are designed to protect the wider community by encouraging the reporting of crime and anti social behaviour.

If an individual breaches a CRASBO they are committing a criminal offence that could result in a prison sentence. The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment for an adult or a 2 year Detention and Training Order (DTO) for juveniles, of which 12 months will be served in custody.

Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)

If an individual is found to be causing problems and displays an anti social manner in a community, police and local authorities can approach them and ask that person to sign an Acceptable Behaviour Contract.

An Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) is a voluntary written agreement that is signed by the offender, the police and/or a local authority.

If the contract involves someone under 18, the parent or guardian of the offender will have to sign it.

An Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) identifies the offending behaviour, the offender then agrees not to do it anymore.

As these are voluntary agreements the offender does not receive a criminal record, however, if the individual continues to display offending behaviour, this can be used as evidence in court.

An Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) can be given to anyone, regardless of age, although they are mainly used for children but can be used for adults in certain situations.

An Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) usually last for six months and during this period, the offending person will be monitored by the organisation who also signed the contract to ensure the agreement is not broken.

If the Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) is breached and the offending person breaks the agreement, Police and local authorities may consider other ways to contain antisocial behaviour, such as  applying for an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO).

Closure Notice

A Closure Notice allows Police to shut down licensed premises that regularly cause noise and /or demonstrate persistent nuisance and rowdy behaviour.

A Closure Notice can also be extended to dwellings where people deal in and take class A drugs.

A Closure Notice allows Police to close these premises for up to six months.

Dispersal order

If certain areas are identified as having continued problems with anti social behaviour then the police can grant a Dispersal Order. This could include areas such as parks or other communal areas where people congregate on a regular basis and display anti social behaviour.

A Dispersal Order’s main aim is to prevent antisocial behaviour by allowing police the power to direct groups or individuals to leave the area and not return for a period of up to 24 hours. If a person refuses to leave the area, they may then be arrested by Police.

Designated Public Places Order (DPPO)/Drinking Banning Order (DBO)

A Designated Public Places Order (DPPO)/Drinking Banning Order (DBO) can be applied to any location where there are persistent anti social behaviour problems caused by individuals drinking in public.

A Designated Public Places Order (DPPO)/Drinking Banning Order (DBO) gives Police the power to confiscate alcohol from individuals over the age of 18 if they suspect that the consumption of alcohol is causing or may lead to anti social behaviour.

If the offending individual refuses to comply with the Police they may be arrest and/or receive a fine of up to £500.

Police can not exercise a Designated Public Places Order (DPPO)/Drinking Banning Order (DBO) if an offending individual drinking in public is under the age of 18.

The police have alternative powers to confiscate alcohol from underage drinkers.

Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND’s)

Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND) can be issued to any individual over 16 years old committing more serious offences than those that can be dealt with by a penalty notice. Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND) are issued by Police for more serious offences, such as throwing fireworks, being drunk and disorderly, petty stealing or damaging property. Penalty notices are not the same as criminal convictions, but failure to pay the fine can result in higher fines or imprisonment.

Fixed Penalty Notice/On the spot fine

A Fixed Penalty Notice allows Police to issue one-off on the spot fines to individuals demonstrating anti social behaviour. This fine is known as a Fixed Penalty Notice. They can be issued in response to dealing with environmental offences such as littering, graffiti, noise and dog fouling. The cost of the fine is determined by age, for example, children under 16 years old can receive an on the spot fine of £50. Individuals aged 16 and over can receive an on the spot fine of £80. Penalty notices are not the same as criminal convictions, but failure to pay the fine can result in higher fines or imprisonment.

Detention and Training Order (DTO)

A Detention and Training Order (DTO) is an order given by the court sentencing a young person (aged between 12 and 17 years) to custody.

A DTO would be given where a young offender has been convicted of a crime which is punishable with imprisonment as in the case of an adult, if the offence is so serious that only custodial punishment is justifiable, or if the crime involved violence or a sexual offence where again only a custodial sentence would be adequate to protect the public from the young offender.

The courts are only able to give a DTO for a certain length of time; 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 18 or 24 months. The seriousness of the offence is of course taken into account by the court when passing sentence. The first half of the sentence is served in detention and the remainder is served in the community under the supervision of a probation officer, social worker or a member of a Youth Offending Team.

Detention and Training Order (DTO) – Serious Offences

Violent or sexual crimes
In cases of violent or sexual offences – young people can get an extended sentence. This means a young offender can spend a long time in custody, and following release,  be put under supervision for further prolonged period of time (for example, being tagged).

In cases involving murder, a court can set a minimum amount of time to be spent in custody. The young person can not apply for parole before this time.
When released, the young person will be kept under supervision for the rest of their life.

Other serious crimes
In certain situations the sentence for a young offender can last as long as the sentence given to an adult for the same offence (but no longer), including a life sentence.

Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 – Offenders under 18 – Detention and Training Order