Community protection notices to deal with persistent antisocial behaviour
A community protection notice (CPN) can be issued against a persistent antisocial behaviour perpetrator, and the failure to comply can lead to sanctions.
Who can issue a CPN
When a CPN can be issued
A CPN can be issued when the conduct is:
having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
persistent or continuing in nature, and
There is no restriction on the type of behaviour a CPN can deal with, for example it can deal with noise nuisance, rubbish in gardens and littering.
Before issuing a CPN, the issuing body should give a written warning to the perpetrator setting out that if the antisocial behaviour persists a CPN will be issued. The amount of time allowed between the written warning and the issuing of the CPN is to be determined on a case-by-case basis. In some cases it could be minutes, for example when someone persists with playing loud music in a park.
The issuing body should also inform any other individual or organisation it thinks appropriate. This could, for example, be the landlord of the perpetrator.
Statutory nuisance cases
The behaviour for which a CPN can be issued may also amount to a statutory nuisance under Environmental Protection Act 1990.
In these circumstances, a CPN could be issued while the local authority investigates whether the behaviour constitutes a statutory nuisance. Guidance suggests that the issuing body may wish to consider whether issuing a CPN is necessary given the powers afforded to a local authority under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Who can be issued with a CPN
A CPN can be issued to any person aged 16 or over, a business or an organisation. Where a business is responsible for the conduct in question, the CPN should be issued to the most appropriate person. For example, the shop owner in the case of a small shop, the manager in the case of a chain of stores.
A CPN can be handed directly to a person or sent by post.
Content of a CPN
A CPN can include a requirement to:
do, or stop doing, something
take reasonable steps to achieve a specified result
For example, if a dog was frequently entering a neighbour's garden through a broken fence, the owner could be issued with a CPN requiring s/he fixes the fence and, if appropriate, require that the owner and dog attended dog behaviour training classes.
The guidance suggests that more serious requirements, such as attendance at a drug rehabilitation course, would be more appropriate when seeking an injunction to prevent nuisance or annoyance (IPNA).
Penalties for failure to comply with a CPN
A number of sanctions are available to the issuing body when a CPN is not complied with. The guidance advises that the potential wishes of the victim should be considered when deciding on the best course of action.
Fixed penalty notices
A fixed penalty notice (FPN) can be issued to non-compliant perpetrators by the issuing authority. The penalty is paid to the local authority.
Once the penalty is paid no further action can be taken with regard to a failure to comply with a CPN.
Remedial works are intended to put the situation right. Only a local authority, or a body authorised by the local authority, can undertake remedial action. This is also referred to as 'works in default'.
On completion of the works the perpetrator will have to pay for the related costs, this can include staff time and administration costs. Where the work is undertaken on outdoor land, the works can be undertaken without the owner's or perpetrator's consent. Where the work is indoor, the local authority must obtain the consent of the perpetrator (and the owner of the premises, where this is not the same person).
Where the local authority tries but fails to contact the owner their consent is not necessary. Before indoor work is carried out, the local authority must issue a notice to the perpetrator giving details of the work to be carried out and the estimated cost.
Failing to comply with a CPN is a criminal offence. On conviction, a magistrates' court (or youth court if the perpetrator is aged 16 or 17) can:
fine the perpetrator
order the perpetrator to carry out remedial work, or to allow the local authority to carry it out
make a forfeiture order requiring any specified item be handed over to the police, local authority or designated person
order the seizure of specified items
A failure to comply with a court order constitutes contempt of court and can lead to imprisonment. The perpetrator will be liable for the costs of any work carried out by the local authority (or on its behalf) under a remedial work order.
Where this work is to be carried out in the perpetrator's home, her/his consent is required. Failure to give that consent will mean they are in breach of the court order.
A person issued with a CPN can appeal to a magistrates' court with 21 days of service of the notice.
While an appeal is pending, any positive requirements to do specified things will be suspended, but any requirements stopping a person from doing specified things continue to have effect.
A person who failed to comply with a CPN can appeal to the magistrates' court with 21 days of been giving notice of a charge for works carried out by a local authority if they think it is excessive.
Last updated: 18 March 2021
ss.43 and 53 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Commencement No.7, Saving and Transitional Provisions) Order 2014 SI 2014/259.
art.2 Anti-social Behaviour (Authorised Persons) Order 2015 SI 2015/749.
s.43 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; pp.39-43 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.
s.43(1) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; p.40 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.
s.55 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
s.43(3) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014; p.42 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.
p.43 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers, Home Office, July 2014.
s.52 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
s.47 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
ss.48-51 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
s.49 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
s.46 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
ss.47(7) and 49(7) Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.