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.

What is an ASBO?

The order, can be issued for a minimum of two years, lists what they must stop doing. They can be told not to go to certain places or to stay away from named people. It can order them not to do certain things, such as writing graffiti.

If they break the terms of the order they can be fined, receive a community sentence, or may even face up to five years in prison.

Who can apply for an anti-social behaviour order?

Applications for ASBOs can be made by:

  • Police Service of Northern Ireland
  • Councils
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive

These applications are made to a magistrates’ court. ASBOs can also be made along with sentencing for a criminal offence. However, an ASBO is a civil order which means that unless the terms of the order are broken, the offender will not be given a criminal record.


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