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Changes to Anti-Social Behaviour Legislation

View profile for Joanne Ellis
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Police in Merseyside are concerned about the increase in anti social behaviour due to the late kick off at this weekend’s Merseyside derby.  The concerns are the late kick off will lead to increased alcohol consumption and therefore increase the risk of serious anti-social behaviour.

However due to the new Anti-Social Behaviour legislation,  could enjoying a few too many drinks at the football lead to you losing your home or liberty?

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduces new measures to deal with anti-social behaviour.  One of these measures is a mandatory ground for possession  The right to seek possession under the new mandatory ground will be triggered by one of five conditions which are set out in the Housing Act 1985 S84A for secure tenants and Housing Act 1988 Ground 7A for assured tenants.  The new mandatory ground is very severe. It can be triggered by the behaviour of someone other than a tenant, including a visitor to the property even if that behaviour occurs away from the property and the tenant has had no involvement with the behaviour.

Your future liberty may also be at risk if you get caught up in any anti-social behaviour. The new Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions can be made where a Court believes that the person has engaged in or threatens to engage in anti-social behaviour and it is appropriate to grant the injunction to prevent such behaviour in the future. The injunction can prevent a person from engaging in particular activities and therefore could be put in place to prevent someone from entering a certain area or perhaps attending a future football match.  A breach of such an order is a mandatory ground for possession and could also lead to a two year custodial sentence.

There is also a discretionary ground for possession for people found to have been involved in a riot. 

You therefore could just find yourself in the wrong place at wrong time and be at risk of losing your home or liberty because of it.

It is always important to obtain legal advice as soon as you are at risk of possession proceedings or injunction proceedings being issued against you to give you the best opportunity of defending those proceedings.

Stephensons has a dedicated housing law department who can give specialist advice and assistance.