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Getting an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

Getting an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)

The Anti-Social Behaviour Order or ASBO as it’s normally referred to entered UK law in 1998 as part of their Crime and Disorder Act. The ideal behind the ASBO was to tackle the growing problem of anti-social behaviour that many communities in the UK were suffering from.

The ASBO is usually issued a magistrates’ court in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and by the Sheriff’s Court in Scotland as a means of handing out a punishment to very young offenders without giving them any kind of custodial sentence. Note that the local authority in your area can also apply for an ASBO against an offender and also Registered Social Landlords and Housing Action Trusts. ASBOs can only be issued to an offender who is 10 years of age or over.

Reporting Anti-Social Behaviour

If you or your community are suffering from anti-social behaviour by an individual or group you can report this to a specialised agency. Every community has an anti-social behaviour coordinator, or a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) representative. You can locate your local teams on the Respect website: can locate your local CDRP representative on the Home Office’s crime reduction website:

Respect Campaign

The government introduced the ASBO to give the police powers to tackle anti-social behaviour. As a long-term initiative to improve social responsibility across the UK, the Respect Action Plan was developed. This aims to improve how everyone in society relates to each other by developing stronger communities. You can read more about the Respect campaign on a dedicated website:

The police are always keen to try and tackle anti-social behaviour in its early stages before it has a chance to develop any further. Early interventions as they are called can mean that the police write to anti-social behaviour offender, or visit their home. Fixed penalty notices can also be used for some offences such as graffiti to deter any further incidents. For young offenders parenting orders and Individual Support orders can be used before an ASBO is issued.

What can I get an ASBO for?

ASBOs were originally created to tackle anti-social behaviour. This can of course be interpreted in several ways. But generally speaking, in the context of an ASBO, you are committing anti-social behaviour if you:

  • Use verbal abuse or otherwise harass passersby.
  • Cause criminal damage. This is the destruction of property belong to someone else.
  • Cause excessive noise.
  • Drink alcohol or smoke under age.
  • Kerb crawl.
  • Vehicle crime.
  • Racial abuse.
  • Visiting areas that the police have said are out of bounds to you.
  • Continuing with the behaviour that ASBO has been issued against.
  • Gathering with a group of people the police have said contravene the ASBO order.

After an ASBO is Issued

An ASBO is an order that is placed on an offender. The ASBO will usually last for a minimum of 2 years. An ASBO does not indicate that a criminal offence has taken place. This means that the ASBO will not appear on your criminal record. However, if you break the terms of the ASBO this is a criminal offence and could result in up to 5 years in prison and a fine. If the police believe you have broken your ASBO, they will take your case to the magistrates’ court, but some cases could be referred to the Crown Court.

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