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News - 22 December 2012

Government publishes draft ASB Bill 2013

The government started consultations regarding changes to anti-social behaviour tools and powers in November 2011. At last it has published the draft Bill. If it is included in the next Queens Speech it is set fair to become law.

In November 2011 the Government consulted about proposed changes to the anti-social behaviour tools and powers, stating that it wished to streamline the raft of tools available in the hope that they would be used more effectively and anti-social behaviour would be tackled more swiftly.

Since then we have waited for the new legislation.

Finally the Government has published the Draft Anti-Social Behaviour Bill 2013 but publication of the draft bill does not guarantee its inclusion in the next legislative programme announced in the Queen’s Speech.

In summary, the Bill sets out the following new powers:

  • Injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance
  • Criminal Behaviour Orders
  • Dispersal Powers
  • Community Protection Notices
  • Public Space Protection Orders
  • Closure of premises associated with nuisance and disorder

The Government has introduced a recovery of possession of dwelling houses on anti-social behaviour grounds which will allow registered social landlords to seek possession in cases of anti-social behaviour.

One of the more contentious elements in the consultation was the Community Trigger which would allow the public to receive an explanation if they felt a case was not being sufficiently investigated. This caused particular concern for practitioners and this feature has now been renamed "Review of response to complaints". Changing the name does, in my view, remove the emotive nature of this tool and local areas will be able to set the threshold for a review of response.

The final part of the Bill is the Community Remedy which allows the public to have a say in the informal remedies that are used to punish those responsible for anti-social behaviour.

Consultation on this part of the bill runs until 7th March 2013 and details can be found here.

The full version of the draft bill is available here.

A fuller briefing on the Bill can be found here


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