This Thursday MPs will hold a second committee debate on the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, a piece of legislation which among other aspects would replace the current ASBO system with a wider ranging “Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance”.
One of the more notable differences between the ASBO system and it’s proposed replacement is the change of definition of what constitutes antisocial behaviour from “harassment, alarm and distress” to the much broader “nuisance and annoyance”.
The Standing Committee for Youth Justice, The Children’s Society and the Association of Chief Police Officers are among those who have raised concerns about the bill, and several groups were signatories to a recent letter (PDF) published in The Times highlighting the reasons for their opposition to the bill.
In a comment article for the Huffington Post, Chief Executive of the Children’s Society Matthew Reece said the bill risked “criminalising children for being children”
The bill also gives police increased powers to order groups of people to disperse from an area, with reduced oversight from senior officers and the courts. Civil liberties groups are concerned these new powers will give police the ability to further restrict the right to protest.
Submitting evidence to the committee