- Monday 5th December at 7pm, Riverside Church & Conference Centre, 13-14 Oakhampton Street
- Tuesday 6th December at 6PM, Guildhall (businesses only) •
- Wednesday 7th December at 7pm, Exeter Community Centre, 17 St. David’s Hill
- Thursday 8th December at 7pm, St. Sidwell’s Primary School, York Road
Devon & Cornwall Police
Freedom of Information Act Request No: 4896/16
Begging and Vagrancy Act 1824 I understand that begging is defined as the solicitation of money and/or food, especially in the street. Since December 2003, begging has been made a recordable offence.
Q1. How many incidents of begging have been recorded in the period 01 August 2015 to 31 July 2016?
The number of incidents recorded in Exeter were 52
Q2. How many of these incidents resulted in the person begging being asked to move on or receive a word of warning?
Of those incidents attended, 75 resulted in an individual being moved on or given words of advice.
Of the attended incidents in Exeter, 20 resulted in an individual being moved on or given words of advice
Q3. How many of these incidents resulted in the person begging being prosecuted under the Vagrancy Act 1824?
Of those incidents attended, one was crimed for the offence of “fail to comply with a section 35 direction excluding a person from an area” [ADDITIONAL NOTE: this was issued under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014].
The one incident that was crimed was in Torquay.
Devon & Cornwall Police
Freedom of Information Act Request No: 4897/16
Street Urination and Defaecation In understand that the issue of Street Urination and Defaecation can be tackled under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 and a range of other measures.
Q1. Can you confirm that section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 can be used to tackle street urination and defaecation?
Q2. How many people have been charged with street urination and defaecation under s5 of Public Order Act 1986 in the period 01 August 2015 to 31 July 2016?
The Central Ticketing Section has provided the following information:
Urinating in public is not recorded as separate offence and would instead be recorded as a public order offence. It is necessary to review each public order Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) to determine if it related to urinating in public.
From a previous request and a time frame of June 2015 to May 2016 there were 26 public order PND’s issued that were determined to have involved urinating in public.
Each PND has a penalty of £90 which is payable to Her Majesties Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and not the Police.
We unfortunately are not able to identify the locations of all the PND’s issued for urinating in the street. The paper copies are only held for 12 months and therefore all the records from June to September 2015 are no longer held.
Q3 Are there any other measures available to Devon & Cornwall Police to tackle Public Order street urination and defaecation?
There is also an offence of the Local Government Act 1972 “162/10 – urinate in a street / public place in contravention of a byelaw”.
Q4. How many people have been subject to these other measures in relation to street urination and defaecation in the period 01 August 2015 to 31 July 2016?
No charges or other outcomes were recorded for this offence within the period requested.
Reform of anti-social behaviour powers – Litter and rubbish
What is the issue?
Respondents in the Crime Survey for England and Wales consistently identify litter and rubbish lying around as a major concern in their area. Persistent littering can be an eyesore or at its worst, be considered a health hazard. It is certainly anti-social and this is why councils take the issue seriously across the country.
Two specific powers to deal with littering are being repealed by this legislation (the litter clearing notice and street litter clearing notice) but their replacements will allow the police, councils and, in some cases, social landlords to design more effective solutions to the problems being encountered locally. In addition, many of the other interventions used currently, such as fines, will remain available.
There is no excuse for littering in a public space. Parks, town centres and public highways are there for the access and enjoyment of all and this should not be ruined by selfish individuals who decide to ignore the law.
In the first instance, council officers and the police will normally approach an individual who has dropped litter and give them the opportunity to pick it up and dispose of it properly. However, they will continue to have access to a number of other interventions for one off incidences of littering such as issuing FPNs (fixed penalty notices) under section 88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Where the accumulation of litter or rubbish becomes an issue – for instance, in an individual’s garden – a number of factors should be considered. Most councils will approach the home owner in the case of litter accumulation and discuss the impact their behaviour is having on those nearby. In many cases, this will prove sufficient to deal with the issue but will also allow the council to ascertain whether there are any other issues involved, such as a mental health needs. Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, mediation and warning letters can also be effective in some circumstances, helping local agencies establish a lasting solution to a community issue.
Dispersal notices – the crime of being in a public place
A Manifesto Club briefing document
by Josie Appleton
The new dispersal powers
From 20 October 2014, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 created wide-ranging powers for police officers and Police Community Support Officers to ‘disperse’ members of the public from a particular locality.
An area can be declared a dispersal zone if an officer of the rank of police inspector or above is
satisfied on reasonable grounds that the use of those powers in the locality during that period may be necessary for the purpose of removing or reducing the likelihood of—
(a)members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed or distressed, or
(b)the occurrence in the locality of crime or disorder.
A police officer can order members of the public to disperse from this area if they have
reasonable grounds to suspect that the behaviour of the person in the locality has contributed or is likely to contribute to—
(a) members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed or distressed, or
(b) the occurrence in the locality of crime or disorder.
The officer can specify the route by which a person must leave the area, and the ‘exclusion period’ within which they must not return.
These new dispersal powers are an extension of the dispersal powers available under section 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, and differ in the following ways:
– Under the 2003 powers, areas had to be designated a dispersal zone on the basis of a particular problem of crime and disorder; the local authority had to be consulted and any planned order publicised. Now, any area can be declared a dispersal zone on the spot. This can be done in advance, for example covering a town centre over the weekend, or ‘spontaneously’, for example giving authorisation over the phone to a constable who wishes to use the powers. [The Inspector must also record the authorisation in writing].
– The 2003 powers could only be invoked if ‘anti-social behaviour is a significant and persistent problem in the relevant locality’. The current powers can be applied if an inspector believes that the use of the powers ‘may be necessary for the purpose of removing or reducing the likelihood of…members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed or distressed’ – a substantially vaguer condition.
– The new powers additionally allow for the confiscation of property ‘that the constable reasonably believes has been used or is likely to be used in behaviour that harasses, alarms or distresses members of the public’;
– The new powers allow for somebody to be banned from an area for 48 hours, rather than 24 as under the previous powers. This has led to ‘weekend curfews’ in town centres, as police forces can issue orders on a Friday night to last the weekend;
– The new powers can be used against single individuals, rather than groups of two or more people. This means that the powers are not restricted to defusing group situations but have a broader application in the policing of individuals;
– The new powers can be used by Community Support Officers in addition to police officers.
These shifts mean that the power to disperse individuals from public spaces is no longer an exceptional power existing only in particular areas. Instead, it has become part of the ordinary powers of policing to be applied in all areas. In effect, police forces now have a roaming power to banish people from the streets.
How have the new powers been used?
We issued FOI requests to all 43 England and Wales police forces, requesting information about their use of dispersal powers in the six-week period between 20 October and 30 November 2014. We asked them about: the number of dispersal zones declared; their reasons for declaring dispersal zones; the number of people dispersed; any information about these individuals; and whether any items had been confiscated. We also searched local press reports for accounts of the use of these powers. Our findings can be summarised as follows.
Number of dispersal zones and dispersals
We received responses from 37 police forces, 23 of which were able to supply some information. These responses show that in the six-week period after the passing of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, 19 police forces used dispersal powers 528 times to declare dispersal areas. Data from 19 police forces recorded the dispersal of 1344 individuals in this period (for statistics, see Appendix).
If this were scaled up for all 43 police forces, this would suggest that around 1000 dispersal areas were declared in that six-week period, and around 3000 individuals were dispersed. Assuming these powers are being used at the same rate, corresponds to some 5000 dispersal areas and 13,000 dispersed individuals in the six-month period following the enactment of the powers.
In practice, this figure is likely to be higher, since larger police forces such as the Greater Manchester Police and Metropolitan Police were among those unable to provide data, and Merseyside Police – a very frequent user of dispersal powers – was only able to provide very incomplete data.
There is very little data on the use of confiscation powers, but some police forces reported the confiscation of alcohol. One police force, Lancashire, confiscated ‘four pedal cycles’ from young people, which it said had been ‘used for the committing of ASB’[FOI response, Lancashire Police].
Reasons for declaring dispersal zones
Our FOI responses indicate that police forces are invoking dispersal powers pre-emptively in advance of public gatherings, such as fairs or bonfire night, rather than in response to significant public disorder.
Several police authorities, such as Essex, cited ‘bonfire night’ as the reason for introducing a dispersal zone. South Wales Police declared dispersal zones in Bridgend town centre for Halloween, and Barry Town for bonfire night [FOI response from South Wales Police ].Stoke-on-Trent South police called a dispersal zone in Fenton Park to ‘Prevent ASB at firework display’.
Lancashire East Division declared a dispersal zone in Lancaster City Centre between 1645-2359hrs on 23 November 2014, when the town centre became ‘crowded with attendees for (Christmas) lights switch-on’ [FOI responses from Lancashire Police ]. It seems that the switching on of the Christmas lights proceeded without incident, however, and there were ‘0 dispersal notices issued’.
The mere presence of crowds is often seen as justification enough to invoke powers, just in case they may be required. Blackpool town centre was declared a dispersal zone with the justification: ‘ASB anticipated this Saturday evening due to greater numbers of people than usual expected in town this evening.’ [FOI responses from Lancashire Police ]
Police forces created dispersal zones in anticipation of lower division football matches; as well as fairs, including the South Staffordshire Victorian fair [FOI from Staffordshire Police ] and Long Eaton Chestnut Fair. Other police forces said that they declared zones in response to the ‘night-time economy’, commonly running from Friday until Sunday night in a town or city centre. In South Wales these weekend dispersal zones include Swansea city centre, and Bridgend and Porthcawl town centres [FOI responses from South Wales Police]
Stoke-on-Trent police enacted dispersal zones ‘Due to drunkenness’ and ‘Nuisance vehicles’, and several authorities invoked the powers against car enthusiast meet-ups. Kent Police enacted dispersal zones in response to ‘homeless people’, while others mentioned beggars or street drinkers. Warwickshire Police declared dispersal zones in Leamington town, Warwick town and Stratford town centre in response to ‘student night’, ‘drunks on high st’, ‘begging’, as part of an ‘enhanced policing initiative’, and in response to the ‘Mop fair’.
In some cases, groups’ mere presence in public space was cited as ‘intimidating’ or ‘distressing’ for others, which was particularly the case with groups of homeless or young people. One dispersal area in Cornwall, targeted at young people, was justified on the basis that ‘Local residents feel intimidated by the large amount of young people who congregate in areas around the town.’12
Some police forces seem to be suggesting that merely being present in a public place for any length of time is an illegitimate and questionable activity. One police superintendent said that people would automatically be asked to move on from the dispersal area within Worcester City Centre: ‘People are more than welcome to use the pubs, clubs and food outlets in the area. However, once they leave these premises we will politely ask them to move on quickly.’
Dispersal powers have been used in most city centres, but also in small towns, villages and rural areas: 16 people were barred from Lambton village centre (Sunderland) over a weekend, and powers were used in a village park in Kirton, Lincolnshire.
It is striking that many of the areas declared dispersal zones do not experience significant unrest or disorder, such as Oxford and Grantham city centres. It is also striking that police authorities discuss dispersal powers as a measure with which they can experiment, rather than a last resort. The measures are described as ‘flexible’, a ‘useful new tool’, or ‘preventative measure’, which authorities are ‘testing’. Such language suggests that the powers are being used pragmatically to deal with a variety of different situations. It also suggests that authorities are not imposing very stringent conditions upon the use of powers which deprive citizens of their freedom of movement.
Who has been dispersed?
Police forces were unable to provide significant detail about the individuals who had been dispersed, or the reasons for their dispersal. Some forces said that the orders had been used against homeless or young people, but without more detail on the circumstances. For example, Lancashire South Division reported that ‘The ages of the people directed to leave ranged from 11 to 22, but were typically 14-16 years old’ [ FOI response, Lancashire Police].
Several political protesters have been targeted with dispersal powers, which poses a direct threat to freedom of speech and assembly. Merseyside Police used the powers against political protesters on consecutive weekends – in one case targeting activists who were chatting and deciding which pub to go to for a drink. Police used the powers to remove protesters against the redevelopment of a Southwark estate. Westminster Police dispersed street drinkers and rough sleepers from Trafalgar Square, along with activists who were preparing to hand out meals for the homeless.
Other cases which have been brought to the attention of the Manifesto Club include the unjust use of dispersal notices against football supporters. Supporters of one Championship side were issued with dispersal orders when their coach had pulled up by the side of an isolated road on the way to a match. A football fan reports:
‘…. our treatment was unreal, around 48 of us received section 34 (dispersal) orders. We simply pulled up on the edge of town, got out of our bus, and were surrounded by police within a minute. We were held there for two hours and given one option – accept the order or be arrested. Each one of us had a match ticket, this was very poor and easy policing. There was no trouble at all, the road we were on was remote, there were absolutely no rival fans anywhere near us, there was no public order. This was a planned police operation…’ [Email to Manifesto Club. The football clubs cannot be named since the fans are considering legal action].
Finally, a disabled man in a wheelchair was issued with a dispersal order for handing out food for the homeless in central Brighton. He was told that if he returned to the area he would be arrested.
Lack of central recording
Our FOI request also revealed that many police forces are failing to record their use of the dispersal power.
Of the 37 forces who answered our FOI request, only 19 were able to specify the number of dispersal zones declared between 20 October and 30 November 2014, and 19 were able to specify the number of individuals dispersed. The forces which refused the request said that there was no central procedure for recording the use of dispersal powers; some said that they would need to examine every officer’s pocketbook in order to find out how the powers had been used.
This lack of reporting runs counter to the recommendations in the Guidance accompanying the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, which specifies:
‘As a safeguard to protect civil liberties, data on the use of the dispersal power would have to be published locally. Police and Crime Commissioners will have a key role in holding forces to account on this to ensure that officers are using the power proportionately.’
This lack of formal checks and reporting means that the public would in general be unaware that a particular area was a dispersal zone. (By contrast, under the 2003 powers, dispersal zones were marked with signage or documented on council or police websites). Therefore, the police have gained extensive new powers which are to a large extent undocumented and invisible.
Arrests/prosecutions for violation of dispersal orders
Those who violate a dispersal order have committed a criminal offence, for which they can be prosecuted and fined. Our FOI requests show that there were 120 prosecutions in Magistrates’ Courts for the offence of violating a dispersal order between 20 October and 31 December 2014 [FOI Response from the Ministry of Justice, 15 April 2015. 100 of these prosecutions were successful].
Since the person was issued with the order only on the basis of an officer’s suspicion that their behaviour might in the future contribute to harassment, alarm or distress, the person’s actual offence was only that they had been found in a public space.
For example, of 10 people dispersed from Leicester Town Hall square, three were found the next day in the prohibited area and prosecuted for the offence.
Meanwhile, Dorset Police carried out 12 arrests for the offence of violating a dispersal order in the six-week period 20 October-30 November [FOI request to Dorset Police]
Local Magistrates’ Court reports show that dispersal orders are being issued against homeless people, an offence for which they can be fined hundreds of pounds. The Bournemouth Echo reports the case of a man
‘aged 76 of no fixed abode. Admits at Bournemouth on 9/4/15 failing without reasonable excuse to comply with a direction given in that they failed to leave the locality specified, namely Princess Road under section 35 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Fined £100. To pay victim surcharge of £20. Costs of £85. To be detained in courthouse. Also admits to failing without reasonable excuse to surrender to custody at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court on 10/4/15. Fined £50. To pay criminal courts charge of £150.’
Of course, if this individual has committed a crime then they should be held to account for it. But in this instance, a homeless person was criminalised for nothing more than the offence of being found in a public place after having being ordered to leave. The fact that they had no home to go to makes such use of powers of banishment particularly unreasonable.
Blurring crime and non-crime
It also appears that dispersal powers are being used where stronger action could have been taken, in place of prosecution of criminal offences. For example, dispersal areas were declared in response to robberies, criminal damage, and break-ins in areas including South Staffordshire and Blaenau Gwent. Surely the investigation of these crimes, and prosecution of the individuals responsible, would be more appropriate action, rather than banishing groups from the streets on the suspicion that they might have or may commit a crime.
In other cases, individuals were dispersed for drug possession and other offences. A ‘prolific shoplifter’ was issued with an order barring him from Bedford town centre.
The chief inspector of Doncaster Police said that one individual was issued with a dispersal order for ‘possession of cocaine’[South Yorkshire FOI response]. The South Yorkshire Police FOI response reported that ‘3 People were dispersed from the Doncaster Town Centre’: ‘1 for Verbal Altercation, 1 for Anti Social Behaviour, 1 for Possession of Cocaine.’ Here, somebody guilty of the vague misdemeanours ‘verbal altercation’ or ‘anti-social behaviour’ – neither of which is itself a designated public order offence – is apparently given the same penalty as someone possessing a prohibited substance.
The dispersal power has the effect of blurring the distinction between crime and non-crime, with the police simply removing groups of people from an area, pushing them away, whether they have done something wrong or not. Criminal and non-criminal behaviour becomes lumped together in the broadening, pseudo-criminal category of ‘ASB’, or the even broader category of ‘suspicions of possible ASB to be committed in the future’.
It was striking that police forces mentioned criminal and non-criminal activities alongside one another as the reasons for declaring dispersal zones. Norfolk Police declared zones in Norwich town centre in response to ‘begging’, ‘drugs’ and ‘prostitution’, applying the same legal remedy to these activities of very different legal status [FOI response, Norwich Police].
Similarly, Staffordshire Police declared dispersal zones in response to ‘House burglaries and vehicle crime in locality’, as well as to ‘Car cruising’ and ‘Nuisance vehicles’, lumping together serious offences with something that would have been seen as a misdemeanour or indeed entirely outside the purview of the criminal law [FOI response, Staffordshire Police].
The attraction of the dispersal power is likely to be that it can be issued on the spot, by handing out a card or filling in a form, without the time and effort required for prosecuting an offence. If the individual violates the dispersal order then their arrest and prosecution is a straight-forward matter, since the officer need only prove that the person had actually been found in the public place.
Yet such methods blur the distinction between criminal and non-criminal behaviour, and resort instead to pragmatically pushing individuals out of public spaces. Where these powers are used against young people, they also supplant the socialisation and disciplining role of police officers and other adults in public spaces. Rather than a police officer having ‘words’ with young people to deal with low-level misdemeanour, young people are simply sent home and removed from these spaces.
Dispersal powers and the corrosion of criminal justice
Police authorities including Staffordshire Police are producing dispersal ‘cards’, which can be given out on the spot to members of the public, indicating the area from which they are barred. Such summary powers clearly have the potential to be used in a pre-emptive and arbitrary manner.
Indeed, in some cases officers have made it quite clear that they can disperse whomever they wish. The group of Liverpool political activists were dispersed while chatting and deciding which pub to go to for a drink, asked on what grounds they were being dispersed, and received the response:
‘One officer farcically commented that activists may have “polystyrene balls”, and these “may cause distress”. However, when invited to search for these mysterious balls, he declined.’
A South Derbyshire police chief spelled out the pre-emptive and subjective application of the powers:
‘These new powers mean we can be much more effective in cutting out crime and antisocial behaviour before it has a chance to happen. If officers out on patrol see people who they think may cause a nuisance, they can now address it and move them on if they feel that the problem could escalate.’
Since police officers do not possess clairvoyant powers, we must doubt their claim to be able to stop behaviour ‘before it has a chance to happen’. There is an obvious danger that these powers will be used against innocent and law-abiding members of the public, who are then effectively placed under curfew for the weekend. None of these thousands of dispersed individuals had been shown to actually have committed an offence.
Historically, powers to disperse groups (such as the Riot Act) were used to defuse critical public order situations. The 2003 dispersal powers could be invoked on broader grounds, but were still limited to particular areas where ASB was a ‘significant and persistent problem’. As this report shows, dispersal powers have now become part of everyday policing and can be used in any public space. As a result, these powers now require urgent critical review.
The growth of dispersal measures represents a return to more primitive forms of law enforcement, which were defined by banishment. These rough tools were employed by societies without a developed system of criminal justice or law enforcement. The fact that banishment has returned in our times indicates a lack of regard for legal principles and public rights.
Therefore, although police forces celebrate these new powers as a handy ‘new tool’, the vagueness and loose nature of these mechanisms means that they act to the detriment of both public liberties and of effective law enforcement.
12 May 2016
Today we launch the first wave findings from our ongoing study. Below is the overview, summarising our key first wave findings on the effects and ethics of welfare conditionality. It draws on data from interviews with 52 policy stakeholders, 27 focus groups conducted with practitioners, and 480 ‘wave a’ qualitative longitudinal interviews with with nine groups of welfare service users in England and Scotland.
Below are nine first wave findings papers covering each of our study’s policy areas in more detail.
Further context and background on the study areas is available in our context and briefing papers.
Force Policy & Procedure: Anti-Social Behaviour & Escalation Policy
Policy Version Date: 26 April 2016
Review Date: 25 April 2017
Policy Ownership Local Policing & Partnership Department
Portfolio Holder Assistant: Chief Constable (LPP)
Links or overlaps with other policies See section 6
1. Policy Statement
1.1 The mission of Devon and Cornwall Police is to detect and prevent harm, protect the vulnerable and reduce crime. Working together as one team to safeguard communities and neighbourhoods, we are sustainable and resilient and provide a high quality service to the public acting in accordance with the national Code of Ethics and our Force standards of behaviour.
1.2 In pursuit of these aims, the Force will seek to work in partnership with our partner agencies, to ensure that Anti-Social Behaviour is tackled with the appropriate balance between support for those who are willing to accept it and swift, effective enforcement for those who are not.
1.3 Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is defined under section 2 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
1.4 This policy is written with regard to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Devon and Cornwall Force Strategy, the OPCC Policing and Crime Plan and the Home Office Statutory Guidance. OFFICIAL For Public Release [FOIA – Open]
1.5 The Police perspective in partnership working brings a focus on Public Protection, Action and Enforcement. It supports efforts of education, prevention and reduction.
1.6 Penalty Notices for Disorder will be taken into consideration with regard to any evidence gathering in relation to applying for a Criminal Behaviour Order.
1.7 This policy should be read with reference to TP05 Criminal Behaviour Orders Working Practice.
1.8 Devon and Cornwall Police will only apply for a Civil Injunction or Criminal Behaviour Order for an individual after going through the processes described in this document.
1.9 In the application of this policy staff are reminded of the need to comply with the standards and principles of the Code of Ethics for policing.
1.10 In the application of this policy staff are reminded of the need to comply with the Equality Act 2010.
2.1 This policy sets out the structure for dealing with persistent Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) at individual case level throughout Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It has been drafted following consultation with Partner agencies such as Local Authorities, Health, Probation, Education and Social Services.
2.2 The structure is intended to be a common basic framework of minimum standards. This is to allow a flexible and adaptable response at the local level (Community Safety Partnerships) that can take advantage of local opportunities and recognise local constraints. It is not intended to be prescriptive. This is in recognition of the differing needs of our diverse communities.
2.3 Individual agencies may have their own internal mechanisms for dealing with ASB. It is not intended that this structure should replace these. It is intended that this structure should form a framework within which the work of differing agencies can be brought together to ensure that enforcement methods such as Civil Injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders are not sought without making use of warnings, support and joint interventions where appropriate.
2.4 It is intended that the Partnerships would use every tool at their disposal to offer persistent offenders the opportunity to help themselves. However if these efforts were ignored, swift and effective enforcement would follow.
2.5 This policy places value on our communities and is aimed at increasing public confidence in our service by use of a partnership culture firmly linking this policy to the Force Strategy. OFFICIAL For Public Release [FOIA – Open]
3.1. The ASB process begins when an individual comes to the attention of a partner agency for behaviour considered to be “Anti-Social”. This has been defined in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 as “conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person, conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person”.
3.2 Stage 1
3.2.1 The partner agency may use their own internal mechanisms for dealing with the ASB. Referrals may have been made to other agencies; routes to receiving help (involving other agencies) may have been sign posted for the individual. However as a minimum standard evidence would be required that:
The individual (and parent/guardian where appropriate) had been contacted. Note: This should be done by letter, and where appropriate by a visit in person as well. The letter would provide documentary evidence of the points below.
It had been explained to the individual why it was felt that the behaviour was unacceptable.
It had been explained to the individual the likely implications for the individual in terms of the ASB structure if there is a recurrence of the behaviour.
A contact point had been given to the individual concerned for any queries.
3.2.2 It is strongly recommended that where children and young people are concerned the Youth Offending Team is contacted at this stage.
3.2.3 The Gatekeeper within the partner agency would decide at which point to move the escalation process up to stage 2.
3.2.4 Within LPAs the nominated liaison officer will decide at which point to move the escalation process up to stage 2.
3.3 Stage 2
3.3.1 At stage 2 the Community Safety Partnership ASB Co-ordinator is informed. At this stage the minimum standards require that:
The ASB Co-ordinator has a point of contact within the partner agency.
The ASB Co-ordinator is satisfied that the minimum standards at stage 1 have been met.
The ASB Co-ordinator actively gathers intelligence on the individual concerned from partner agencies.
OFFICIAL For Public Release [FOIA – Open]
The ASB Co-ordinator would ensure that the individual concerned is aware of the seriousness of the behaviour in question and was aware of the consequences should this behaviour continue. This should be done by letter which, would provide documentary evidence and reinforced by a personal visit if appropriate.
3.3.2 In all cases where a child or young person is involved the ASB Co-ordinator will inform the Youth Offending Team at this stage.
3.4 Stage 3
3.4.1 This stage of the process is reached if the ASB persists or is of such proportions that intervention at this stage is required to address the behaviour concerned. The minimum standards at this stage require that:
The individual concerned is informed by letter of the meeting/consultation.
A multi-agency meeting/consultation takes place, where each agency in the partnership is represented.
The role of this multi-agency forum is to discuss support and enforcement that can be brought to bear and to offer the advice and assistance of the forum to partner agencies as appropriate.
The multi-agency forum would be responsible for the review and monitoring of individual cases at subsequent meetings, until the problem is felt to be resolved.
3.4.2 It is recognised that a consensus on the appropriate course of action to be taken may not always be reached. In cases where such consensus is not reached it will be for the statutory agencies to determine the course of action for fulfilling their obligations under Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which creates a statutory duty for agencies to consult each other on matters regarding crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour, which led to the creation of the Community Safety Partnerships.
4. Audit / Assessment Compliance
4.1 This policy has been drafted and audited in accordance with the principles of Human Rights legislation, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the Policing Bureaucracy Gateway and Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the document is classified as ‘Open’.
5. Review and Ownership
5.1 The review of the contents of this policy is the responsibility of the Head of the Local Policing and Partnerhips Department. Review of the policy will be undertaken annually. OFFICIAL For Public Release [FOIA – Open]
26/04/2016 5 Force Publication Scheme
6 Useful Links
6.1 TP05 – ASBO Working Practice
Penalty Notices for Disorder
Community Triggers Guidance