Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill

Written evidence from Leeds City Council (ASB 51)

Introduction

1. This is the response of Leeds City Council to the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill 2013 and forms its evidence to the Public Bill Committee stage.

2. This response has been compiled by staff working within the following departments of Leeds City Council :

a. Safer Leeds

b. Leeds Anti Social Behaviour Team

c. Legal Services (ASB Team)

Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance

3. Name : ASBIs are little known by the public. It is well known to practitioners. It would seem sensible to continue using the term "Anti Social Behaviour Injunction" so that to the public ASBOs simply become ASBIs.

4. Section 1 : guidance to the Act should be issued to guide courts as to what are reasonable prohibitions – such as exclusion zones – and what duration these should be for. This will assist practitioners and the courts to propose and to grant reasonable and appropriate terms.

5. Section 2 : The section provides that the court must receive evidence from providers about specified activities before they are included in an injunction. It may take time to obtain such evidence. This should not delay the obtaining of a prohibitive injunction and so the legislation or rules of court should make clear that a Claimant is able to return to court to vary the injunction to include mandatory provisions.

6. Section 9 : This section provides for the issue of warrant of arrest where there is breach of a term of the injunction where there is no power of arrest. This is a new procedure, different to that contained in the Civil Procedure Rules, which generally requires the person who obtained the injunction to apply to the county court for committal on application. The power of arrest then only arises if the person is committed in their absence. Is the method of applying for committal on application to the court no longer to be applicable ? Are warrants for arrest under this section to be "backed for bail" ?

Community Protection Notices

7. Section 43 : it is a defence to a Community Protection Notice to say that the nuisance complained of is a statutory nuisance – ie a nuisance more serious than that which a CPN is designed for. However, when issuing the CPN the authorised person is unlikely to be in a position to know whether the nuisance has passed the threshold into being a statutory nuisance. It would appear to defeat the purpose of the CPN if it can be successfully challenged by a defendant claiming that the nuisance is more serious than can be dealt with by a CPN. The section should say specifically that it is not a defence to claim the nuisance is a statutory nuisance.

8. Section 45 : as above, the defence of statutory nuisance should be reversed.

9. Section 73 : this section provides that the power to issue a closure order is only available in the magistrates court. The power should be available in the county court for secure tenancies as the landlord will be a local authority who will be required to seek possession of the property in the county court. This will enable all proceedings to be conducted in one court, rather than two.

July 2013

Prepared 17th July 2013