Please note that this guidance has been superseded by “Guidance
on ASBOs and ABCs”, published November 2002
Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) were introduced from 1 April
1999. Their purpose is to target activities which disrupt the lives
of individuals, families or communities. ASBOs are an important
addition to the range of responses available to tackle anti-social
They are not intended to replace existing measures in all
circumstances. However, whilst ASBOs should be seen within this
wider context, there is no requirement to demonstrate that every
other remedy has been exhausted before applying for an ASBO. The key
is that an ASBO should be used where it is the most appropriate
466 ASBOs were granted between April 1999 and September 2001 in a
variety of circumstances. Where they have been granted, they have
been strongly welcomed by the police, local authorities and the
communities they are designed to protect.
Although orders had been successfully obtained in some areas
during the first 6 months of their being available, it was evident
that the guidance issued in March 1999 needed to be followed up by a
further initiative from the centre. The Home Secretary appointed
Lord Warner to head an action group to consider what needed to be
done to spread best practice in the use of ASBOs.
The Action Group concluded that if the ASBO was to play its
proper part in reducing crime and disorder, the police and the local
authority would need to establish effective working relationships
with their partner agencies, and that such arrangements should be
set out in the form of a protocol.
This guidance complements the ASBO Guidance of March 1999 and
has been drawn up by the Home Office and the Local Government
Association in consultation with the other agencies with a
leading interest in ASBOs.
It sets out the areas of policy and practice which all
partner agencies should consider including in their own
It is for each local partnership to determine the detail of
their procedures, taking account of local needs.
This guidance does not lay down mandatory rules or seek to
provide a binding interpretation on points of law, but sets out
suggested procedures which may be followed in dealing with
anti-social behaviour in general and in applying for an ASBO in
Getting a copy
The full guidance is available in either HTML or PDF from: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/asbocont.html
Examples of those already using ASBOs can be found in the Anti-social
behaviour toolkit in the section Who
can help and local solutions.
Provisions in the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 which give
increased protection for
witnesses in civil proceedings – details announced in a Home
Office circular in August 2001. These new powers should
further assist partnerships with their anti-social behaviour