An ASBO is a civil action similar in nature to an injunction. The magistrates court will impose appropriate conditions on the individual prohibiting them from causing alarm, distress or harassment to other individuals and the community in general. Specific conditions may also be imposed, such as:
- preventing the person from associating with certain people
- banning them from a particular area for a fixed period of time
Why ASBOs are imposed
These orders are often a last resort to curb unacceptable behaviour (of a serious nature) before criminal proceedings. They can also be used in conjunction with criminal prosecutions to impose specific conditions on an individual. In these cases the Safer Croydon Partnership will make an application to the court for an ASBO against the individual.
The aim of the order
The aim of such orders is to impose conditions on the individual concerned prohibiting them from behaving in a way that is anti-social.
How long an ASBO lasts
A minimum of 2 years to a maximum of life.
How evidence is gathered for an application
Evidence comes from personal statements, police intelligence records, closed circuit television (CCTV) footage, and various other sources. In certain circumstances hearsay evidence can be used from witnesses who can then remain anonymous.
How an ASBO is enforced
The support of the community is vital in reporting individuals who display antisocial behaviour. In some cases, the community provides evidence to assist the council in efforts to prevent antisocial behaviour continuing. This information is as important after an ASBO has been made as it is before, so that breaches are properly dealt with by the court. In addition the individual is monitored by the council's anti-social behaviour unit and the police.
What happens if an ASBO is breached
Breach of an ASBO is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment up to a maximum of 5 years.
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