This proposal is intended to replace the antisocial behaviour injunction (ASBI). The proposed crime prevention injunction would carry a civil burden of proof and be appropriate to tackle, for instance, the carrying of a dangerous weapon and also instances of verbal abuse or threats of violence by one individual towards another. This is a purely civil order where the applicant, including a housing association, would need to prove on the balance of probabilities that antisocial behaviour had been caused by a defendant and that this behaviour amounted to nuisance and harassment towards the victim. The proposal envisages that applicants, including housing associations would be able to apply for this order in either the county or magistrates court, although the consultation called for comments on which court would be more appropriate. It is proposed that this order could also be applied for against individuals under the age of 18.
The injunction would include prohibitions on the individual’s future behaviour. As with current ASBI’s, the power of arrest could be attached to the prohibitions and the recipient of the order could be excluded from a particular area. A breach of a crime prevention injunction would need to be proved beyond reasonable doubt but would not be a criminal offence and would not result in a criminal record. Commentators who have responded to the consultation have raised concerns as to how this injunction order would work in practice and have called on the Government to retain the ASBI.
We too, would like two see the retention of the ASBI as in our experience it is a useful tool aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour without having to resort to applying for a possession order.