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Antisocial Behaviour Orders

What is an Antisocial Behaviour Order?

Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) are preventative orders that are intended to protect people in the community who have been affected by antisocial behaviour from further acts or conduct that would cause them alarm or distress. An ASBO is a court order that prohibits a person from doing anything described in the order. Breach of an order is a criminal offence.

abandoned sofaASBOs were introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 but were only available for people over the age of 16 in Scotland. The Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 replaces the provisions in the relevant provisions in the 1998 Act as they relate to Scotland, and introduce a number of changes.

top of pageWho can ASBO be awarded against?

ASBOs can be made against any individual aged 12 or over. They cannot be made against families or groups of people. A separate order will need to be sought against each individual involved in antisocial behaviour.

Does it apply only to Council tenants?

No, ASBOs can be made against people from all types of rented accommodation. They also apply to owner-occupiers.

top of page Who can apply for an ASBO?

Local Authorities and Registered Social Landlords can apply for ASBOs. Aberdeenshire Council having consulted with partner organisations, including Police Scotland, will decide whether or not it is appropriate to apply for an ASBO. The application will be made to the Sheriff Court.

Will Aberdeenshire Council automatically apply for an ASBO?

Before the Council will consider an application for an ASBO it must be satisfied all other reasonable steps have been taken or looked at to resolve the problem. These may include:

  • Discussions being held between the parties in dispute
  • Mediation
  • Warning letters
  • Other legal actions and non legal actions or remedies, for example, acceptable behaviour contracts or Interdicts could be pursued
  • Police involvement
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Involvement of other services and agencies such as Environmental Health

top of pageWhat type of behaviour would the Council consider appropriate for seeking an ASBO?

Anti social BehaviourThe following list gives examples of behaviour where an ASBO may be sought:

  • Racial harassment
  • Drug Dealing
  • Unprovoked assault
  • Threatening abusive behaviour
  • Serious disturbance, including persistent noise nuisance
  • Persistent or serious vandalism or damage
  • These may also be potential grounds for criminal action, especially in severe cases. In such circumstances the police are likely to be contacted to consider taking criminal proceedings.

What is the position for Council tenants?

Tenants of Aberdeenshire Council should report all incidents of antisocial behaviour to their local housing office. The staff will gather all the necessary evidence to establish if an ASBO would be appropriate or decide what other course of action is required.

What do I do if I am a tenant of a private landlord or housing association ?

Tenants of other landlords should report complaints to their own landlord, who should follow their own policy and procedures for dealing with complaints.

And if I am an Owner-Occupier?

Owner-occupiers will have to show that they have taken all reasonable and available steps to resolve the problem before consideration is given to applying for an ASBO. If you wish to establish whether the Council may consider pursuing an ASBO against your neighbour or any other person you should write to the Housing Officer (Antisocial Behaviour Support) for your area, providing a summary of the evidence you have.

Buchan and Banff and Buchan areas

  • Tel: 01779 483813

Garioch, Formartine, Marr and Kincardine and Mearns areas

  • Tel: 01467 628369

top of pageWhat evidence does the Council require?

The Council will need confirmation that all possible steps have been taken to resolve the problem in relation to appropriate policies and procedures. The following is required:

  • A summary of the case history including detailed incidents and supporting evidence
  • Statements taken from witnesses
  • Evidence gathered by other agencies involved
  • Police involvement including dates and details of complaints made
  • Details of any legal actions pursued
  • Any other evidence e.g. photographic or video

top of pageWhat happens if the Council is satisfied that an ASBO should be sought?

The Council’s Legal and Governance service, having liaised with Police Scotland, will apply for an order through a summary action to the Sheriff.

Will the perpetrator be informed?

A copy of the Application made to the Court must be served on the perpetrator. This will advise him/her of the reasons why the Order is being sought. The perpetrator will also be advised that they should attend the Court or be legally represented, and of penalties for any breach of an Order which may be granted against the perpetrator.

Will I be kept informed?

Yes, the complainant and any witnesses will be kept fully informed of progress, including the Court's decision.

Who decides?

The Sheriff will make the decision on granting and the terms of an ASBO based upon the evidence provided.

top of pageIf an ASBO is awarded how long will it last?

The length of time will be stated within the Order and can be for an indefinite period.

top of pageWhat happens if there is a breach of an ASBO?

HandcuffsThe ASBO will be specific about the acts that the individual is prohibited from carrying out. Any breach should be referred to the Police to take appropriate action. The Council should also be advised of the breach. Breaches of an ASBO are a criminal offence and are punishable by fine and / or imprisonment of up to 5 years.