Hartlepool Borough Council

Anti-social Behaviour Unit

Anti-social Behaviour Orders

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What is an Anti-social Behaviour Order? (ASBO)

An Anti-social Behaviour Order is a civil court order similar to an Injunction which is usually obtained through the Magistrates' Court. (sitting in a civil capacity) An ASBO is not a criminal conviction.

Local Authorities, Police Forces, Registered Social Landlords, the British Transport Police and the Environment Agency can all apply for an ASBO under Section 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

ASBOs are designed to protect the public from behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. They do this by placing a person responsible for anti-social behaviour under Court enforced conditions regarding their future behaviour. These conditions can include (but are not limited to):

- Placing them under a Curfew,
- Excluding them from a particular street / estate / ward / town,
- Preventing them from being in public with named persons,
- Preventing them from being in public in a group,
- Preventing them from being in public in possession of alcohol,
- Preventing them from using insulting, abusive, threatening words or behaviour in public.

When can an ASBO be obtained?

An ASBO would be considered where a person has been involved in a number of serious anti-social behaviour incidents over the last 6 months and:  

1. has refused to work with agencies to change their behaviour, 
2. has worked with agencies to change their behaviour, but despite this their behaviour remains unacceptable,
3. where their behaviour is so serious that an ASBO is necessary to protect the public from further harm.

What do you have to prove?

The legal tests for making a ASBO are:

1. that a person has acted in an anti-social manner during the last 6 months.  
2. that an ASBO is necessary to protect a person from further anti-social behaviour

Who can get an ASBO and how long do they last?

Anyone aged 10 years or over can be made subject to an ASBO. They cannot however be used to protect people within the same household.

ASBOs last for a minimum of two years and there is no maximum length for an ASBO.

What happens if an ASBO is broken?

An ASBO is a civil court order and is not itself a criminal conviction. However breaching an ASBO is a criminal offence. The punishment for breaching an ASBO will depend on the circumstances of the breach:  

- Adults can receive a maximum sentence of up to a £5000 fine and/or five years in prison.

- Young people (those under 18 years old) can receive a maximum sentence of up to a two year Detention and Training Order in a Young Offenders Institution. (One year in custody / one year subject to a Community Order under the supervision of the Youth Offending Service)

Who is on an ASBO?

Cleveland Police publish on their force website those subject to Anti-social Behaviour Orders in the Cleveland area.


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Telephone: 01429 266522

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