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Anti-social behaviour

Anti-social behaviour orders

Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) are court orders which forbid specific threatening or intimidating actions.

An ASBO can ban a person from:

  • threatening, intimidating or disruptive actions
  • spending time with a particular group of friends
  • visiting certain areas

ASBOs are in effect for a minimum of two years, and can be longer. They are designed to protect specific victims, neighbours, or even whole communities from behaviour that has frightened or intimidated them, or damaged their quality of life.

These are civil orders - not criminal penalties – so they won’t appear on a suspect's criminal record. However, if that person breaches an ASBO, they have committed a criminal offence, which is punishable by a fine or up to five years in prison.

Who can call for an ASBO?

Any one of the following agencies can apply for an ASBO to be issued against a trouble-maker:

  • local authorities
  • police forces
  • registered social landlords and housing action trusts

But first, those who are suffering must report the problem. If you're being harassed, or if you're life is being damaged, contact your local police force, or your local neighbourhood policing team, and ask for help.

See also

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