TACKLING ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AND ITS CAUSES

Enforcement tools and powers

Header image for the 'Enforcement tools and powers' section. Image shows a police officer outside a police van in a high street.

The enforcement section of this site provides information on powers that can be used to take action against anti-social behaviour that causes repeated misery and distress to its victims. Enforcement will only be successful as part of a multi-agency approach that aims to impact on the underlying issues and problems that may be hindering a long-term change in behaviour.

It is important for communities to set the standards of behaviour by which they expect people to live. If these standards are to be credible and respected, the police, local authorities and other agencies should work with local people to take swift and effective action to uphold them if they are breached.

The key aims of any intervention

  • to enable the individual to recognise the consequences of their behaviour
  • to ensure that they change their behaviour
  • to protect victims, witnesses and the community

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 clarifies, streamlines and reinforces the powers available to practitioners. It builds on measures already available, including anti-social behaviour orders in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, penalty notices for disorder in the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, and housing injunctions in the Housing Act 1996.

The range of remedies is to be designed to be as flexible as possible and different combinations of tools may be appropriate for different individuals and families. There are a number of stages at which different levels of intervention and enforcement are appropriate, which vary according to the persistent nature of offending.

At each stage it is vital that the individual concerned is made fully aware of the consequences should they refuse to change their behaviour

ARTICLE LAST UPDATED: 24/09/2008

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