Commencement of Section 20 Drugs Act 2005 and the addition of Environmental Agency and Transport For London to the list of relevant authorities who can apply for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

Home Office circular 29 / 2006

Commencement of Section 20 Drugs Act 2005 and the addition of Environmental Agency and Transport For London to the list of relevant authorities who can apply for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

  • Broad subject: Crime and Disorder
  • Issue date: Wed Sep 20 00:00:00 BST 2006
  • From:
    Crime Reduction and Community Safety Group (CRCSG) - Crime and Drugs Strategy Directorate, Anti-social Behaviour Unit (ASBU)
  • Linked circulars:
    No Linked Circulars
  • Copies sent to:
    Chief Executives,Chief Probation Officers, The Chief Crown Prosecutor, Chief Officers of Police (England and Wales), Court Managers
  • Sub category: Anti-social behaviour
  • Implementation date: Fri Sep 15 00:00:00 BST 2006
  • For more info contact:
    Neil Townley - 020 7035 4801
  • Addressed to:
    Courts

Part 1

  • Section 20 Drugs Act 2005 (Amends Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Inserting 1G AND 1H)
  • The Drugs Act 2005 (Commencment No. 4) Order 2006 (Statutory Instrument No. 2163 (C.71))
  • The Crime and Disorders ACt 1998 (Intervention Orders) Order 2006 (Statutory Instrument No. 2138)

1. This part of the circular draws attention to the commencement of provisions relating to Intervention Orders (IOs) in the above legislation, which come into force in England and Wales on 1st October 2006.

2. Section 20 of the Drugs Act 2005 amends the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to enable an authority which is applying for an anti-social behaviour order under Section 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 or a similar order under section 1B of that Act (both orders being referred to in this context as “behaviour orders”), to apply for an ‘intervention order’ – a civil order designed to tackle drug related anti-social behaviour – alongside the behaviour order.

Legislative Background

3. Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) were introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 in England and Wales and have been available since April 1999. The powers to impose ASBOs were strengthened, extended and clarified by the Police Reform Act 2002, the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 and the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

4. IOs are a new tool which, just as individual support orders under section 1AA of the 1998 Act can be made to accompany ASBOs, can be made to accompany behaviour orders. They are provided for by sections 1G and 1H of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as inserted by section 20 of the Drugs Act 2005. Those provisions will come into force on 1st October 2006, by virtue of the Drugs Act 2005 (Commencement No. 4 ) Order 2006 ).

5. IOs are legally and practically distinct from other treatment orders, in particular drug treatment and testing orders.

Policy Background

6. IOs require individuals who act anti-socially as a result of drugs misuse to comply with positive requirements that tackle their ASB. The order specifically addresses the individual’s drug related anti-social behaviour, which is generally what led to the behaviour order being made (trigger behaviour). Ideally this should be done by tackling the root causes of this behaviour and an IO should be structured to reflect this objective, and any measures taken under the order should prioritise the prevention of further trigger behaviour.

7. IOs can only be applied for alongside applications for behaviour orders that are made as “stand alone” applications in the Magistrates court, or alongside proceedings in the County Court. They can only be made in respect of individuals aged 18 or over and can last up to 6 months.

8. For a court to make an IO it should be satisfied that drugs misuse is responsible for the perpetrator’s anti-social behaviour. This decision should be based upon a report from an appropriately qualified individual. The court must also be satisfied that appropriate treatment is available.

9. An IO cannot be obtained if the potential recipient is (at the time the intervention order is made) subject to another intervention order, or any other treatment, whether voluntary or not, that relates to the subject’s trigger behaviour, or if the court has not been notified by the SoS that arrangements are in place for implementing the order.

10. Non compliance is an offence with a penalty of a level 4 fine. It is the responsibility of the officer supervising the order to report a breach to the applying agency.

Guidance

11. A guidance document providing practical assistance for practitioners with regard to the use of this power will be available prior to commencement.

Usage

12. It is anticipated that applications for IOs will be below 100 a year. 

Part 2

  • The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (relevant authorities and relevant persons) order 2006 (Statutory Instrument No. 2137)

13. This part of the circular draws attention to the fact that, from 1st September 2006, the Environment Agency and Transport for London are added to the list of ‘Relevant Authorities’ for the purposes of sections 1, 1B, 1CA and 1E of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Legislative Background

14. Section 1A of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 enables the Secretary of State, by order, to add to the number of ‘relevant authorities’ who can apply for anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) under section 1 of that Act,for similar orders under section 1B (orders in county court proceedings), for variation or discharge of similar orders made on conviction in criminal proceedings, or who are subject to certain consultation requirements prior to making such applications.

15. Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Relevant Authorities and Relevant Persons) Order 2006 Statutory Instrument No. 2137, the Environment Agency and Transport for London have been added to the list of relevant authorities.

Policy Background

16. The policy intention of ASBOs and similar orders is to protect communities from anti-social behaviour by providing an injunctive power that prevents perpetrators from undertaking anti-social acts, without criminalising them.

17. The addition of the EA and TFL to the list of authorities who may apply for such orders will allow further use of such orders to prevent:

A) Environmental anti-social behaviour that impacts on communities, such as fly-tipping

B) Anti-social behaviour that occurs on London’s public transport system

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