Campaign Update: Lots done… More to do

In last Wednesday’s debate on the Anti-social Behaviour Bill (ASB), the Lords voted against re-defining anti-social behaviour as “conduct capable of causing nuisance and annoyance”, as the government wanted to do. Instead, they chose to keep the old definition of ASB: conduct capable of causing “harassment, alarm or distress” – except in housing cases.  

The Government lost by 178 to 306 votes – a pretty significant defeat.

But it’s not over. There is a chance that the Government will try to reverse the Lord’s decision and return to the “nuisance and annoyance” definition when the Bill goes back to the House of Commons. We’ve since signed a letter to Theresa May, alongside organisations such as JUSTICE and the Criminal Justice Alliance, asking the Home Secretary to respect the House of Lords decision and not to attempt to change the definition of anti-social behaviour when the bill goes back to the Commons.

SCYJ Publishes Joint Briefing with SEC for House of Lords Report Stage of the Children and Families Bill

The Children and Families Bill will have it’s third day of House of Lords Report Stage on 7th January 2014.

SCYJ are working in conjunction with the Special Education Consortium to brief Peers around Clause 70 – a portion of the Bill which meant children in custody were exempt from having their SEN needs met. Since the inception of the Children and Families Bill we have been working with the Government to provide a suitable alternative to ensure that children in custody can have their EHC plans follow them right through custody and into resettlement with minimal disruption.

The Government have since laid their amendments. We warmly welcome the Government’s intention to now delete Clause 70 from the Bill, however, we believe the Government isn’t putting a strong enough duty on local authorities to ensure children in csutody have the right to access the educational provision specified in an Education, Health and Care plan.

Our House of Lords Report Stage of Children and Families Briefing is available here.

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SCYJ and Partners Produce Joint-Briefing for House of Lords Report Stage of the Anti-social Behaviour Bill

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill (ASB Bill) will have its first day of House of Lords Report Stage on 8th January 2014. We anticipate that all the issues of concern to SCYJ will be covered on this day.

SCYJ, along with JUSTICE, Liberty, The Children’s Society and CJA, is working with Peers to table and support amendments to the Bill.

The Earl of Listowel has tabled amendments which would prevent children from being imprisoned for breach of the IPNA (the new ASBO) or failure to comply with the new police dispersal power.

Lord Dear has tabled amendments which would change the definition of ASB for the purposes of the IPNA. His amendments would return the definition of ASB to that used in the ASBO – conduct causing “harassment alarm or distress” – except in housing situations where the definition would remain as conduct causing “nuisance and annoyance”.

Last week the Government tabled some a series of amendments to the Bill, including:

  • Amending the definition of ASB for the purposes of the IPNA. Instead of “conduct capable of causing nuisance and annoyance to any person” the government proposes to change the definition to “conduct that could reasonably be expected to cause nuisance or annoyance to any person”.
  • Linked applications:  amendments would allow IPNA applications against adults to be heard in the youth court where the application is linked with to an application against a child.
  • Power to exclude someone from their own home:  amendments would prevent powers to exclude people from their own home from applying to under-18s.
  • Police dispersal powers: amendments specify that the police must consider the right to freedom of expression and assembly when using the new police dispersal power.
  • Guidance: amendments would give the Guidance accompanying the Bill a statutory underpinning

. The briefing is available here.

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