Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs)

Anti-social behaviour orders can be used to stop anyone aged 10 or over from harassing, causing alarm or distress to other people who are not part of their household. An order can be issued for at least two years and lists what they must stop doing.

What an ASBO does

If you're given an ASBO, the order tells you what you must stop doing. It can tell you:

  • to stay away from certain places
  • not to contact or see named people
  • to stop doing certain activities such as writing graffiti

If you break the order, you could be fined, receive a community sentence or get sentenced to prison for up to five years.

Eligible to apply for an anti-social behaviour order

Applications for ASBOs can be made by:

  • Police Service of Northern Ireland
  • councils
  • the Housing Executive

They apply to a magistrate's court. ASBOs can also be made along with sentencing for a criminal offence. An ASBO is a civil order. Unless the terms of the order are broken, the offender won't get a criminal record.

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