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Antisocial Behaviour Punishments

The ASBO was first introduced as part of the Crime and Disorder Act in 1999. ASBOs got amended through the most recent Serious Organised Crime and Police Act in 2005.

ANTI SOCIAL ACTIVITIES: This page explains why and how you can get punishment for antisocial behaviour. Check what will happen if you fail to follow the rules.

ASBOs are civil orders. They aim to protect the public from people who behave antisocially. In particular, antisocial behaviour that causes alarm, distress, or harassment will get punished.

For Example: The resulting sanction may prohibit a person from entering defined areas or carrying out specific anti-social acts.

Typical examples of antisocial behaviour would include:

  • Using drunken or threatening behaviour.
  • Playing excessively loud music at night.
  • Displays of vandalism or graffiti.

Note: CPNs, CBOs, and civil injunctions replaced Antisocial Behaviour Orders in England, Wales, and in Northern Ireland. But, different rules apply for Antisocial Behaviour Orders in Scotland.

A court can hand out a CPN or civil injunction. It happens most often if the police, the council, or a landlord report antisocial behaviour as a persistent occurrence. A CBO would only apply if you get convicted of a crime.

You can get a civil injunction or a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) from the age of ten (10). But, you must be at least sixteen (16) years old to get a Community Protection Notice (CPN).

The restrictions put in place mean that to avoid further severe penalties the person will not be able to do certain things in public such as:

  • Spend time in a particular place (e.g. your local town centre).
  • Socialise with people who are already known as troublemakers.
  • Drink alcohol in the street.

Note: Punishments can also include fixing the damage that you caused to someone’s property. There are several other ways to improve your behaviour (e.g. attending a support group).

How Long the Punishment Lasts

The court would inform you how long you must follow the rules for. A CPN does not have a maximum time limit. But, the length of time given in a civil injunction or a CBO would depend on the age of the offender.

Offenders under 18 years old:

  • A civil injunction can last for up to 12 months.
  • A Criminal Behaviour Order lasts between 12 months and three (3) years.

Note: There is no maximum amount of time for offenders 18 and older. A CBO would get reviewed every year and then either stopped altogether or extended further.

Civil Injunction Punishment

The punishment for failing to follow the rules of a civil injunction will result in:

  • A three (3) month detention order for offenders under the age of 18.
  • Up to two (2) years of imprisonment or and unlimited fine for offenders who are 18 or older.

Note: The punishment for failing to follow a CPN is a fine between £100 and £2,500.

Criminal Behaviour Order Punishment

The punishment for failing to follow the rules of a CBO will result in:

  • Up to two (2) years in a detention centre for offenders under the age of eighteen (18).
  • Up to five (5) years in prison or an unlimited fine (or it can be both) for offenders who are eighteen (18) or older.
ASBO Penalties in Scotland

It is a criminal offence to break or ‘breach’ the stipulations of an ASBO. Breaching or disobeying an Antisocial Behaviour Order can result in a court sentence. The length of sentencing for an ASBO breach penalty depends on your age and the circumstances behind the misdemeanor.

Drinking Banning Orders Guidance

This section explains what happens if you get a Drinking Banning Order (DBO). DBOs are given out to people who break the law or to those who cause problems while drinking alcohol.

Some of the typical reasons why you can get a Drinking Banning Order (DBO), are:

  • Acts of antisocial behaviour.
  • Performing acts of vandalism or graffiti.
  • Urinating in a public place.
  • Using violent or threatening behaviour towards other people.

Drinking Banning Orders are given to offenders from the age of sixteen (16) in England and Wales, and can be issued by:

  • A magistrates’ court (if a local authority or one of the police forces apply for one).
  • A county court (for individuals already facing civil legal proceedings).
  • A criminal court (for people convicted of an alcohol-related criminal offence).

Note: A DBO can have different conditions attached to it. The magistrates hearing the case, and circumstances of the actual offence, will determine the outcome.

What Does Getting a DBO Mean?

As a rule, the conditions attached to a DBO mean the person would not be allowed to:

  • Buy alcohol.
  • Drink or be in possession of alcohol in a public place.
  • Enter certain areas or locations that serve alcohol to the public.

A drinking ban order can last between two (2) months and two (2) years. Even so, you can appeal a magistrates’ court verdict to try and get a DBO reversed.

Alcohol Awareness Training

You can sometimes shorten the terms of a DBO by attending a health and drinking awareness course. Accepting this type of training course is not mandatory, but there would be an enrolment fee to pay.

Note: Breaking a DBO is a criminal offence. The penalty for ‘breaching’ a Drinking Banning Order can be a court appearance and a fine up to £2,500.

Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO) Penalties in England (United Kingdom)