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Anti-social behaviour orders

Anti-social behaviour orders

Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) are court orders which prohibit the perpetrator from specific anti-social behaviours.

An ASBO can ban an offender from:

  • continuing  the offending behaviour
  • spending time with a particular group of friends
  • visiting certain areas

ASBOs are issued for a minimum of two years.

The aim of an ASBO is to protect the public from the behaviour, rather than to punish the perpetrator.

An ASBO is a civil order, not a criminal penalty – this means it won’t appear on an individual's criminal record. However, a breach of an ASBO is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or up to five years in prison.

The community takes charge

An anti-social behaviour order is intended as a community-based intervention as local people are involved in:

  • collecting evidence
  • helping to enforce breaches of the prohibitions in the order

ASBOs are designed to encourage local communities to become actively involved in reporting crime and anti-social behaviour, helping to build and protect the community.

Who can apply for an anti-social behaviour order to be issued?

Any one of the following agencies can apply for an order:

  • Local authorities
  • Police Forces and British Transport Police
  • Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and Housing Action Trusts (HATs)


See Also

For practitioners