SCYJ Write Letter to the Times Highlighting Concerns with new Anti-social Behaviour Bill

The SCYJ, in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Alliance, released a statement listing our issues with the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill which you can view here: Joint Statement on ASB Bill by CJA & SCYJ.

We also had a letter featured in The Times which you can view below.

Letter printed in The Times, Monday 10 June


We welcome measures to ensure communities can take control and tackle anti-social behaviour effectively.

However, the current Anti-Social Behaviour Bill is seriously flawed as it fundamentally redefines and broadens the scope of what constitutes anti-social behaviour to include “conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance”. Clearly, the list of potential activities that could fall within this definition is limitless; what some may find to be innocent fun can annoy others.

The new ‘Injunction to prevent nuisance and annoyance’ can be handed down to anyone over the age of 10 years old within a matter of hours, is subject only to a low burden of proof, is open to indefinite periods of duration for adults, and does not require any form of intent. Breach of the injunction can result in sanctions, including imprisonment.

Such ill-thought-out legislation will sweep up all kinds of noncriminal and non-serious behaviour – wasting police time and clogging up the courts. It threatens to take resources away from genuinely harmful or distressing behaviour, where the police and other services should be focused.

The coalition and opposition should listen to the call by the cross-party Home Affairs Committee to “end the arms race” against Anti-social Behaviour by setting reasonable limits on the behaviour covered by the new powers.


Dr Charlotte Alcock, CEO, MAC-UK

Dr Tim Bateman, National Association for Youth Justice

Sandra Beeton, Executive Director, Association of Panel Members

Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health

Jodie Blackstock, Director of Criminal Justice Policy, JUSTICE

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive, Young Minds

Ellen Broome, The Children’s Society

Anne Marie Carrie, Chief Executive, Barnardo’s

Frances Crook, Director, The Howard League for Penal Reform

Dr Hilary Emery, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau

Penelope Gibbs, Chair, Standing Committee on Youth Justice

Vicki Helyar-Cardwell, Director, Criminal Justice Alliance

Charlotte Hill, Chief Executive, UK Youth

Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth, Newcastle Law School

Gareth Jones, Chair, Association of Youth Offending Team Managers

Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive, Leap Confronting Conflict

Juliet Lyon, Director, Prison Reform Trust

Gracia McGrath OBE, Chief Executive, Chance UK

Nick Pickles, Director, Big Brother Watch

Susanne Rauprich OBE, Chief Executive, National Council for Voluntary Youth Services

Isabella Sankey, Policy Director, Liberty

Jane Slowey, Chief Executive, The Foyer Federation

Emma Thomas, Chief Executive, YouthNet

Paola Uccellari, Director, Children’s Rights Alliance for England

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