The government has delayed the introduction of new anti-social behaviour injunctions in order to ensure minors have access to legal aid to challenge them.
The Home Office says it will take until January 2015 to make the necessary changes to legal aid, which means current anti-social behaviour injunctions will be in place until well into the new year.
Through part 1 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which was due to come into force on 20 October, courts will now be able to issue an injunction against anyone over 10 year olds who is ‘engaged or threatens to engage in anti-social behaviour’. Currently, courts are only able to issue injunctions against anyone who is 18 years old or over.
Norman Baker, minister for crime prevention, said: ‘We are currently working to ensure that legal aid services are available to young people who are the subject of civil injunction proceedings and expect this process to be completed by January 2015.’
Part 1 of the act, concerning injunctions, will replace the existing ASBIs (anti-social behaviour injunctions) with new powers.
Under the act – which the government says will ‘put victims at the heart of the response to anti-social behaviour’ – the new injunctions will prohibit someone from doing anything which leads to antisocial behaviour and will also include powers to require a person to take ‘positive’ action to reform themselves, such as joining a rehabilitation programme.
Parts 2 to 6 of the act will still come into force on 20 October, which include the replacement of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) with Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs).
Part 1 will also require another commencement order to be made as well as the changes to legal aid for it to come into effect.
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