Asbo bill given a second reading by peers


Peers have given the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill a second reading, after a long debate on 29 October 2013.

The bill covers anti-social behaviour, forced marriage, dangerous dogs and the use of illegal firearms by gangs and in organised crime.

It will formally end the anti-social behaviour order - or ASBO - replacing it with the Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Disorder (IPNA), which ministers say will allow for swifter action.

Under the new law, a person would have to act in a way that is "capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person" to get an injunction, rather than the definition used for ASBOs, which is conduct causing, or likely to cause, "harassment, alarm or distress".

Liberal Democrat Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames feared the proposed new IPNA would "disproportionately" affect children and young people.

He cited Ministry of Justice figures which showed that in 2011 38% of ASBOs were given to 10-17 year-olds, who comprise "only 13% of the population".

"There is a serious risk that young people whose misbehaviour might never have bought them into contact with the criminal justice system will now be dragged into the courts by this bill," Lord Marks said.

The wide-ranging bill will make forced marriage a criminal offence, as will as a breach of a forced-marriage protection order.

The police will be reformed, with a new Police Remuneration Review Body replacing the Police Negotiating Board.

Though provisions in the bill mainly apply to England and Wales some would also extend to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The bill, which has already cleared the House of Commons, now awaits further scrutiny in the Lords at committee stage.

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