Civil injunction

Aimed at putting a prompt end to individuals participating in anti-social behaviour or preventing the behaviour happening.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 received royal assent on 13 March 2014 and became fully operational from 20 October 2014. It introduced several simpler, more effective powers aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour and providing better protection for victims and communities.

 

Unlike other parts of the Act the introduction of the Civil Injunction, (Part 1) of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, was delayed until at least January 2015. The delay is to allow changes to be made to the civil legal aid system to ensure that minors have access to challenge civil injunction applications made against them. As at November 2014 the Home Office is participating in a consultation regarding proposed changes to remuneration for legal aid services. This consultation closed in December 2014 and in February 2015 it has been confirmed that the new civil injunction available under part 1 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 are due to be introduced from 23 March 2015. The new injunctions will replace Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions (ASBIs), Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and several other powers currently used to deal with anti-social issues.

 

The Civil Injunction is aimed at putting a prompt end to individuals participating in anti-social behaviour or from preventing the behaviour happening in the first place. The idea is to provide fast and effective protection for communities and for victims and to give perpetrators a clear guide to the standard of behaviour expected.

 

Applications for the injunction can be made by a number of agencies including, local councils, social landlords, police (including British Transport Police) and The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales. The injunctions will be issued by the county court and High Court for over 18s and the youth court for under 18s. Unlike ASBOs the civil standard of proof based 'on the balance of probabilities' will be used.

 

The injunction is a formal sanction and allows the courts to issue an injunction against anyone over 10 years of age who is ‘engaged or threatens to engage in anti-social behaviour’.

 

The Civil Injunction can include an order to stop the individual from doing something as well as a requirement for them to do something, (positive requirement), to handle the cause of their anti-social behaviour. A power of arrest can also be attached to aspects of the injunction if the anti-social behaviour included the use, or threatened use, of violence against other people or if there is a significant risk of harm to other people.

 

Agencies applying for a Civil Injunction should question whether or not the behaviour is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress (for non-housing related anti social behaviour) and if the behaviour is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance (housing related anti social behaviour).

 

Breach of a Civil Injunction will be classed as a civil contempt of court punishable with an unlimited fine or a maximum of two years in prison for over 18s. Under 18 year olds will face a supervision order or, as a very last resort, a civil detention order of up to three months for 14-17 year olds. Because of the severity of the penalties that can be imposed on breaching the injunction the criminal standard of proof – ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ – will be applied in breach proceedings.

 

 

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014:

Injunction - Anti Social Behaviour Act 2014 - ASB Help

Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Local Government Lawyer - Delay to civil injunctions

Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 - Gov.UK

Civil/crime news: contract amendments for new anti-social behaviour injunction

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