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Antisocial Behaviour Orders

ASBOs are preventative court orders intended to protect people in the community affected by antisocial behaviour from further acts or conduct that would cause them alarm or distress. ASBOs prohibit, either indefinitely or for a specified period, a person from doing anything described in an order. Breach of an order is a criminal offence.

ASBOs have been in operation in Scotland for persons aged 16 or over since April 1999 under powers introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 extended ASBOs to 12-15 year olds and introduced some changes to improve the effectiveness of the orders.

Local authorities and registered social landlords can make applications for ASBOs. ASBOs are not usually used as a 'first resort' to deal with antisocial behaviour and other remedies such as warnings and mediation are considered prior to making an application.

The Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 introduced the power for a court to make an ASBO on conviction in a criminal court as part of a sentence.


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