House of Commons - Explanatory Note
Anti-Social Behaviour Bill - continued          House of Commons

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151.     As this is a new measure, there will be some costs to the courts in new forms, staff training and changes to IT systems. These are estimated by Court Service to be £350k. Where demotion is sought in conjunction with possession, there will be no additional court costs. Where it is sought as a stand-alone measure, the Government estimates that the costs to the court will be £4k in 2004/5 and £13k in 2005/6. There will also be associated legal aid costs. These are estimated at £28k in 2004/5 and £90k in 2005/6. There are expected to be some benefits to the courts as anti-social behaviour is more effectively controlled and the requirement for other legal action in response to it is lessened.

152.     There will be some costs to local authorities and HATs in applying for demotions. The Government estimates these to be £19k in 2004/5 and £60k in 2005/6. There are also expected to be benefits to social landlords through the more effective control of anti-social behaviour, and hence a reduction in the amount of officer time spent dealing with anti-social behaviour. The Government estimates the overall financial impact on local authorities and HATs of this measure will be neutral.

Part 3: Parental Responsibility

Truancy and exclusion from school

153.     These measures will result in costs to local education authorities but by preventing truancy and permanent exclusions they are also expected to result savings, resulting from avoiding the need for prosecutions and alternative provision for permanently excluded pupils. Penalty notices will also provide a cheaper alternative to prosecution and generate revenue to offset enforcement costs. There will be costs to the courts resulting from the prosecution of parents who do not pay penalties for truancy and applications for exclusion-related parenting orders, but also savings from prosecutions avoided by parenting contracts or replaced by penalty notices. The net effect of these measures on local authority and court expenditure is estimated to be more or less neutral (a very small net increase in expenditure by local authorities estimated at £75k per year and a very small net reduction in expenditure by the courts estimated at £38k per year). These estimates do not take account of indirect savings from reductions in youth crime associated with parenting contracts and orders.

Criminal conduct

154.     These measures will result in costs to youth offending teams but by preventing youth crime they are also expected to result in savings due to a reduction in the number of crimes being committed and the reduced number of prosecutions of children and young people. There will be costs to the courts from applications for anti-social behaviour parenting orders, but also savings from prosecutions avoided by parenting contracts. The net effect of these measures on court expenditure is estimated to be a small net increase of £48k per year for the additional parenting order court cases. Youth offending teams will be able to choose whether they want to make additional investment in early intervention at an estimated cost of £11.2m per year but with potential savings through reduction of youth crime of £19.6m per year across the youth justice system.

Part 4: Dispersal of groups

155.     As a result of this measure there could be an increase in work for the criminal justice system in terms of increased numbers of prosecutions in the courts and financial implications for the duty solicitor scheme and legal aid fund. However, this power will be limited to areas where anti-social behaviour is a particular problem and should be offset by the deterrent effect of a power of arrest and the savings in terms of preventing anti-social behaviour.

Part 5: Sanctions etc.

Anti-social behaviour orders

156.     Measures related to anti-social behaviour orders will improve the process and overall cost of obtaining, monitoring and enforcing breach of anti-social behaviour orders and equivalent orders and providing support to parents of juveniles involved in anti-social behaviour. The measures allowing local authorities to access the youth court and prosecute breach of orders are optional and place no additional obligations on authorities. Similarly enabling housing actions trusts (HATs) to apply for orders places no obligation on HATs. These measures allow agencies to use their time and resources more effectively according to particular circumstances. For example HATs will be able choose to apply for an ASBO rather than seek a possession order and eviction, which is usually more costly, or they may combine both proceedings. Enabling individuals to be joined to related proceedings in the county court when their anti-social behaviour is a cause of those proceedings makes more effective use of court time by removing the need for a separate hearing. Requiring the courts to make an parenting order when making an ASBO against a juvenile aged under 16 is expected to reduce further anti-social and offending behaviour and thereby lead to savings in other areas of the criminal justice system. Before such savings are taken into account it is estimated costs relating to the measures will be approximately £370k.

Orders made on conviction

157.     Measures related to orders made on conviction clarify the position of the prosecutor in seeking orders on conviction and are expected to ensure the process runs smoothly, thereby making more effective use of court time. The measures are also intended to ensure that orders on conviction are sought where appropriate and therefore preclude the need for a separate hearing in the magistrates' court. Without taking these efficiency savings into account it is estimated that related costs will be approximately £90k. There are no costs arising from removing automatic reporting restrictions on orders on conviction made against juveniles in the youth court.

Penalty notices for disorderly behaviour by young persons

158.     It is planned to pilot the extension of the fixed penalty notice scheme to 16 and 17 year olds in 2004. The costs incurred will be subsumed in the existing arrangements for fixed penalty notices. Costs of national implementation will be assessed in the light of the pilot schemes.

Curfew orders and supervision orders

159.     Measures to allow fostering as an option for use with the supervision order will be piloted with approximately 20 places per year taking an average of 26 young people and each placement lasting an average of 9 months. Estimated total costs of the pilots will be £2m. This includes recruiting training and employing foster carers, evaluation of the pilots and an average weekly cost of £2k of paying foster carers, providing 24 hour support service to foster carers, educational and family support input and therapeutic intervention. There will be estimated savings from custody diversions of around £450k for the Youth Justice Board who commission and purchase secure juvenile places. There are also expected to be additional benefits to this measure which are difficult to quantify - such as reduction in crime for local communities, and a small reduction in the number of juveniles who are in custody.

160.     Changes relating to intensive supervision orders and curfew requirements will allow the Youth Justice Board to increase the length of their intensive supervision and surveillance programme (ISSP) from the current 6 to 12 months. The measure will be rolled out gradually - and will cost youth offending teams £3m in year one rising to 6m in year 2. This includes the extra cost of supervision for the longer period and an increase in tagging costs. The funding will be provided in 2004-05 and 2005-06 through efficiency savings in the secure juvenile estate. Benefits to the community will include a reduction in crime, including reduced re-offending rates. A full evaluation of ISSP is being undertaken by Oxford University. The report of this evaluation is due in 2004.

Extension of powers of community support officers etc.

     161.     The extension of the power to issue penalty notices for disorder to persons accredited under community safety accreditation schemes will increase the number of people who can address these aspects of anti-social behaviour. There are training costs associated with this measure to be met by the organisation seeking accreditation, this is estimated at £136 per individual. The benefits in terms of fines paid and court savings are estimated at £77k in year one, rising to £390k in year three. In addition there are unrealisable benefits in terms of improved community safety.

Report by local authority of certain cases where a child is remanded on bail

162.     Measures requiring local authorities to provide information to the court regarding young people placed on remand will mean minimal costs to the courts where an additional hearing is necessary to hear the local authority report back. This cost is estimated at £4k per year, and cost to the local authority for the production of the report is estimated at £47k per year. However, the benefit received by preventing re-offending on remand and increasing the attention to the needs of young offenders is expected to lead to savings across the youth justice system estimated at £562k. Overall the measures are expected to result in a benefit of £0.5m.

Part 6: Firearms

     163.     The Government estimates that changes related to the age at which young people can own an airgun will lead to approximately 250 arrests per year with approximately 70 cases proceeding to a court hearing at either a magistrates, court or a youth court. Estimated costs incurred by the Lord Chancellor's Department will be approximately £60k; police costs are estimated at £8k and CPS costs at £25k. The total costs are therefore estimated to be in the region of £93k. There are also expected to be savings as a result of a reduction in police time taken by dealing with complaints, and a reduction in the cost of damage to property.

     164.     Prosecutions under the new offences of having airguns and replica guns in a public place with no reasonable excuse will lead to estimated costs of £288k. The Lord Chancellor's Department have estimated their costs at £230k. The Crown Prosecution Service estimate their costs at £26k. Police costs are estimated at £32k.

165.     The use of the order making power to ban certain types of air weapons is expected to result in savings on the cost of investigating offences committed with this type of weapon. It is believed that this provision will have no adverse effect on police budgets if it is used to require existing owners to obtain a firearms certificate as the licensing system is run on a full cost recovery basis. The Government estimates the total costs of any prosecutions relating to possession of these weapons would be £143k.

Part 7: The Environment


166.     Powers for environmental health officers to issue closure orders to premises causing excessive noise will generally be used where a local authority would normally issue an abatement notice. This is an emergency measure that is expected to operate as a deterrent in most cases. Additional costs to local authority are therefore expected to be minimal. Likewise additional costs to the courts are expected to be minimal (estimated to be in the region of £12k).

167.     Measures to tackle night noise are designed to give local authorities powers while removing the burden of duties and restrictions associated with those powers. Local authorities will be able to choose to use the fixed penalty notice regime in relevant cases where it is expected to be a faster, more cost-effective alternative than using their statutory nuisance powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The Government estimates that an average of 10 notices will be issued per local authority at minimal cost.

Graffiti and fly posting waste and litter

     168.      The total possible cost of the measures to issue fixed penalty notices for graffiti and fly posting, and extending local authority intervention powers to relevant land will be in the order of £35m in 2003/4 if the new powers are used by all local authorities. Costs will only be incurred by those local authorities that choose to use these powers. Costs are expected to fall year on year as fewer offences are committed, and use of these new powers are subsumed within local authority programmes. These measures are expected to result in a reduction in the incidences of graffiti and fly posting, and also a reduction in enforcement costs for local authorities and court costs resulting from prosecutions.

     169.     The cost of prosecuting those who illegally sell spray paints is estimated at £135k a year. There are expected to be benefits to local authorities in terms of reduced costs in cleaning graffiti and to the police as a result of a reduction in the number of arrests for defacing property with graffiti.

170.     In total, the Government estimates that the costs involved in the measures to tackle fly tipping will amount to £21.4m in 2004/05 and £12.9m in 2005/06 if local authorities choose to use the powers that are being made available to them. The initial costs will be incurred by local authorities (£22.2m in 2004/05), the courts (£250k in 2004/05), and the police (£192k in 2004/05). There are expected to be benefits to the Exchequer from an increase in fine receipts (£500k in 2004/05) and to the Environment Agency in not having to deal with incidents in local authority areas (£1m). Costs are expected to fall in future years, as more funds are spent on prevention, better detection and more effective enforcement of fly-tipping legislation and less is spent on clearing up the illegally deposited waste. In time, the measures are expected to be cost-neutral. In addition, there are expected to be unquantified benefits associated with an improved environment, cleaner streets and fewer pollution incidents.


171.     The effects on public sector manpower as a result of this Bill are expected to be minimal. Powers created by this Bill will be adopted by agencies operating within their existing roles and responsibilities.


172.     An Overall Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) for the Bill has been completed which assesses the cost to business, charities and voluntary bodies at between £16m and £35m a year and identifies the benefits as being measures which will help reduce anti-social behaviour, crime and the fear of crime. The specific RIAs are:

  • Measure to restrict the sale of aerosol spray paints to persons under the age of 18.

  • Amendments to existing Firearms legislation so as to ban the sale, distribution, manufacture and import of weapons using the self-contained air cartridge system, and to impose a licensing system on those people who already possess them.

  • Changes and amendments to Firearms legislation aimed at reducing offences involving the misuse of air weapons and imitation weapons.

  • Closure of properties causing nuisance through the supply or use of Class A drugs.

  • Environmental Health Officer power to close licensed premises causing a noise nuisance.

173.     These full RIAs of the costs and benefits that this Bill would have are available to the public from the Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, Home Office, 5th Floor, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1P 2AW (telephone number 020 7273 2698) or can be found on the Home Office website.


174.     Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement before Second Reading about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). The Home Secretary has made the following statement:

         In my view the provisions of the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

175.     Part 1 of the Bill raises issues under Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (right to property) of the Convention. In the Government's view, any interference with Article 8 rights will be justifiable as sufficiently precise and accessible to be in accordance with the law and to pursue legitimate aims within the meaning of Article 8.2, in particular the prevention of disorder and crime and the protection of the rights and freedoms of other persons in the neighbourhood. The measures meet the pressing social need of closing a gap in the current law dealing with the use of such properties and the serious nuisance and disorder which results. While those involved in drug dealing may be prosecuted under the Misuse of Drugs Act and actions for eviction may be taken against tenants, there is currently no provision for rapid closure of the property. A range of procedural safeguards are provided. The police, local authorities and courts are all public authorities for the purposes of section 6 of the Human Rights Act and will therefore be under a duty to use their powers in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights.

176.     In relation to Article 1 of Protocol 1, these proposals constitute a control of use rather than a deprivation of property rights. The interference with property rights involved strikes a fair balance between the public interest and the protection of individual rights. Although in the Government's view there is no obligation to provide compensation to those adversely affected, there is provision for compensation to be awarded by the court in appropriate cases.

177.     The provisions in Part 2 relating to anti-social tenants may also give rise to issues under Articles 6 (fair trial), 8 and Article 1 of Protocol 1. The Government's view is that the powers and procedures set out in Part 2 are a necessary and proportionate response to the anti-social behaviour of the tenants concerned. They contain a range of procedural safeguards and are justifiable in accordance with Article 8.2 in the interests of public safety, the prevention of disorder and crime and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

178.     In relation to Article 1 of Protocol 1, injunction orders will not in themselves be a deprivation of property rights. The interference with property rights involved will be justifiable in the interests of the wider community. Demotion procedures may result in a deprivation of property rights but the Government is satisfied that there are sufficient safeguards to ensure that orders are only granted where they are a proportionate response to the conduct concerned and are necessary to protect the rights of others.

179.     In relation to Article 6, the Government's view is that decisions on demotion may entail determination of a civil right and that the composite procedure of an administrative decision and an appeal to the courts is compatible with Article 6.

180.     The power to disperse in Part 4 may give rise to issues under Article 5 (liberty), 8, 10 (freedom of expression) and 11 (freedom of association). In the Government's view the power will involve a restriction on freedom of movement rather than a deprivation of liberty. Article 5 rights will only be engaged in the case of an arrest for failure to comply with a direction. In that case, deprivation of liberty will be justified under Article 5.1c (lawful arrest on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence).

181.     In relation to Articles 8, 10 and 11, given the safeguards provided, including the requirements for prior authorisation and publicity, the Government believes the powers can be exercised compatibly with the Convention and that they pursue the legitimate aims of public safety, prevention of disorder and crime, protection of health or morals and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. Specific exemptions are made for lawful pickets and processions and to prevent a direction being given which would prevent someone returning to their home. A code of practice will be issued to the police about the exercise of these powers. As in relation to earlier measures, the police will be obliged by section 6 of the Human Rights Act to exercise these powers in a way which is compatible with the Convention.

182.     The Part 6 amendments to firearms legislation may also give rise to issues under Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol 1. They are however a response to crime and injury caused by use of the weapons concerned. As such, they can be justified in the interest of public safety, the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of the rights of others.


183.     Clause 57 contains provisions relating to the coming into force of the Bill. The Bill's provisions will be brought into force on dates appointed by the Secretary of State or, where specified, by the National Assembly for Wales by commencement order.

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Prepared: 27 March 2003