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Information » Law & Rights » Punishment and Sentences » ASBOs


What is an ASBO?

  • An ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order) is a civil court order which bans behaviour in order to protect the public

  • It is not a criminal penalty, but authorities do have powers to publicise the names of those subject to orders and place their names on the Police National Computer

Can anyone get ASBOs?

  • ASBOs can be issued against anyone aged 10 or above

Why would someone be given an ASBO?

  • For only the very worst sort of nuisance behaviour such as harassment, criminal damage, racial abuse, joy riding and vandalism

Can I appeal against an ASBO?

  • Yes in the same way as you can appeal against a conviction
  • An appeal goes to the Crown Court which rehears the case and a notice of appeal must be given in writing to the designated officer of the court within 21 days of the order being made

Are they a permanent mark on my life?

  • An ASBO is a civil order, not a criminal penalty so it will not appear on an individual’s criminal record
  • However, the breach of an ASBO provision is a criminal offence and can result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years

What qualifies as 'anti-social’?

  • In law it is defined as behaving in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress
  • Anti-social behaviour covers a broad range of activities including: public drinking, criminal damage, vandalism, arson, littering, noise nuisance and graffiti

Are there various degrees of ASBOs?

  • There are no degrees of ASBOs
  • An order contains conditions prohibiting the offender from carrying out specific anti social acts or from entering defined areas and is effective for a minimum of two years
  • The orders are not criminal sanctions and are not intended to punish the offender

Are there warnings before ASBOs?

  • Welsh Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) tackle anti social behaviour with a four stage targeted intervention process that aims to address nuisance behaviour before it escalates to an ASBO
  • This includes warning letters, home visits and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts

Who gives you an ASBO?

  • ASBOs are civil orders issued by Magistrates’ courts on application from the Police, local authorities, registered social landlords, British Transport Police or the Environment Agency

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