On 24th December 2017 the Home Office issued updated guidelines on the use of anti-social behaviour powers following warnings they are being used to target dog walkers, buskers, rough sleepers or groups gathering to chat in town centres.
The best practice guidance has been issued to councils and police in an effort to ensure the array of measures available are applied appropriately. The legislation introduced in the ASB and Policing Act 2014 introduced six powers to help local agencies tackle conduct that blights communities and neighbourhoods. However, the powers have come under fire from campaigners who argue it has created a “busybody” approach as orders are used in some cases to restrict lawful and reasonable behaviour and particularly focussing on Public Space Protection Orders.
The Home office says the new guidance follows feedback from charities and other groups that orders were being used to disproportionally target certain groups in some areas rather than focus on behaviour that is genuinely anti-social and causing others distress and alarm.
Read the updated guidelines here
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