02 October, 2014
Following our update earlier this week, we now have further information on the delays in introducing new anti-social behaviour laws.
The government has delayed the introduction of Part 1 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 ('the Act'), which is the new civil injunction designed to deal with anti-social behaviour.
The delay is necessary so that changes can be made to the civil legal aid system to ensure that minors have access to challenge civil injunction applications made against them. When the civil injunction comes into forces, courts will be able to issue an injunction against anyone over 10 years old that engages in or threatens to engage in anti-social behaviour. Therefore, amendments need to be made to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 to allow minors access to civil legal aid. The Home Office has confirmed that it will take until January 2015 to make the necessary changes to legal aid.
Although Part 1 of the Act has been delayed, Parts 2-6 will come into force as planned on 20 October 2014. This includes the criminal behaviour order, dispersal power, community protection notices, public spaces protection order, closure power, the new absolute ground for possession, community remedy and the community trigger.
Until the amendments are made to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and brought into force, social landlords should continue to use the current anti-social behaviour injunctions to deal with perpetrators of anti-social behaviour.
We will, of course, provide a further update once we know when Part 1 of the Act will come into force.