Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill: JUSTICE submits briefing to the Public Bill Committee.

JUSTICE has submitted evidence to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee. Our briefing highlights the deficiencies of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill and provides essential modifications to the Bill’s provisions on anti-social behaviour, extradition and criminal compensation.

The Public Bill Committee is currently scrutinising the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill and will report by the 16th July 2013. JUSTICE is concerned in particular with the Bill’s proposals to introduce new coercive powers to address anti-social behaviour, to create a leave requirement in extradition cases and to restrict the availability of criminal compensation for those who have been wrongly convicted.

Read our full briefing, as submitted to the Committee. JUSTICE urged the following headline changes be made to the Bill:

  • Require the criminal standard of proof for the imposition of an Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNA) or Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO);
  • Replace the vague and easily triggered ‘nuisance or annoyance’ test with the current ‘harassment, alarm or distress’ test;
  • Insist that the imposition and terms of an IPNA or CBO be considered necessary and proportionate by the court;
  • Specify the maximum duration of an IPNA and CBO and provide an exhaustive list of positive requirements that can be contained in an IPNA or CBO;
  • Ensure that any imposed requirement takes account of an individual’s care arrangements and does not duplicate an existing community order;
  • Do not impose CBO’s on those under 18 or impose only as a last resort after Acceptable Behaviour Agreements have failed;
  • Keep reporting restrictions in place to protect children in all IPNA and CBO cases;
  • Dispersal powers should only be available where there is a significant and persistent problem, should not exceed 24 hours and should not be available to Police Community Support Officers. Non-compliance should not be made an offence as public order offences already exist;
  • The time limit for all extradition appeals should be 14 days. Discretion to extend time-limits should also be available in exceptional circumstances where the interests of justice so require;
  • A leave to appeal requirement should not be imposed upon requested persons. If introduced, this should extend to requesting states, and be subject to review. Legal aid must remain available and be granted expeditiously;
  • Compensation for miscarriages of justice must not be limited to cases where new evidence shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person is innocent. The current test should remain – that no reasonable jury could convict on the evidence now to be considered.