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Anti-Social Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004 [S]

This act makes provisions in connection with antisocial behaviour, criminal justice and in relation to child welfare, and for connected purposes. The act was passed in June 2004.

Main Provisions

The Act defines 'antisocial behaviour' as follows : For the purposes of this Act, a person (""A"") engages in antisocial behaviour if A -
(a) acts in a manner that causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress; or
(b) pursues a course of conduct that causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress,to at least one person who is not of the same household as A; and ""antisocial behaviour"" shall be construed accordingly (section 110/1)

Antisocial Behaviour Strategies - a duty on each local authority to work jointly with the relevant chief constable to prepare, publish, and keep under review, a strategy for tackling antisocial behaviour in the authority area.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) - local authorities and registered social landlords will be able to apply to the sheriff to have an ASBO granted against those aged 12 and above (currently can only be applied to those aged 16 and above). In the case of a child the sheriff will have 'regard to any views expressed by the Principle Reporter'. Where the sheriff makes an ASBO in respect of a child, the sheriff may require the Principle Reporter to refer the child's case to a children's hearing.

Dispersal of groups - contrary to the proposals in the Executive's consultation document this measure does not apply exclusively to those under 16. The Act give senior police officers the power to authorise police officers to disperse groups of two or more people in a specified area, at specified times and for a specified period (not exceeding 3 months).

Closure of premises - a power for senior police officers to authorise the closure of premises where there is reasonable grounds for believing that (i) 'at any time during the immediately preceding 3 months a person has engaged in antisocial behaviour on the premises; and (ii) the use of that premises is associated with the occurrence of relevant harm'. The senior police officer will be obliged to consult with the relevant local authority and take reasonable steps to identify the person who lives on, has control of, has responsibility for or has an interest in the premises. Closure notices can be appealed against by anyone with an interest in the closed premises.

Parenting Orders (POs) - the court may grant an application for a PO from a local authority where a child has engaged in antisocial behaviour or criminal conduct. A PO may be granted on request of the Principle Reporter under the same conditions and/or where 'the making of the order is desirable in the interests of improving the welfare of the relevant child'. Before making a PO the court is obliged to hear the views of the relevant child ('having regard to the age and maturity of the relevant child, so far as is practicable') and those of the parent or relevant adult. PO cover an adult who has general day to day care of a child and not only those with rights and responsibilities. Breach of a PO will constitute an offence and the parent will be liable for a fine - the welfare of the child will be considered by the court in making this decision.

Community Reparation Orders (CROs) - where someone is convicted of an offence involving antisocial behaviour and was between the age of 12 and 21 when this was committed then the court may impose a CRO in place of a sentence. This will require the offender to carry out activities designed to enable reparation to be made to those affected by their actions or to reduce the likelihood of the person engaging in such behaviour again.

Restriction of Liberty Orders (RLOs) - the Act repeals the age limit of 16 on RLOs.

Supervision requirements - the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 is amended to enable supervision requirements imposed by a children's hearing to include restricting a child's movements and requiring the child to comply with arrangements for monitoring their compliance with such a restrictions. Devices that may be used for the purpose of monitoring are to be specified in regulations. The Actl also strengthens duties on local authorities to provide services required to make a supervision requirement effective and strengthens local authority accountability in respect of the provision of education for excluded pupils.

Other measures include:

  • Banning the sale of spray paint to under-16s

  • Giving local authorities the power to issue fixed penalty notices for litter

  • Strengthened local authorities' powers to tackle noisy neighbours

  • Strengthening local authorities' powers to deal with landlords who don't tackle antisocial behaviour by their tenants through a national landlord registration scheme

  • Giving the police powers to close premises where drug-dealing or other antisocial behaviour takes place and to disperse groups where there is anti-social behaviour

  • Introducing fixed penalty notices for some antisocial behaviour


26/06/03 - Scottish Executive issue 'Strategy to tackle anti-social behaviour' consultation document.

11/09/03 - End of consultation

Lead committee:

Communities Committee

Preliminary discussion:

Local Government and Transport Committee on 28 October 2003

29/10/03 - Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill introduced to Scottish Parliament.

Stage 1 (to be completed by 12 March 2004):


Communities Committee on 5, 12, 19 November 2003; 3, 10, 17 December 2003; 7, 14, 21, 28 January 2004; 3, 11, 24, 25, 26 February 2004; 2 March 2004

Equal Opportunities Committee on 4 November 2003

Finance Committee on 9 December 2003; 20 January 2004; 3 February 2004

Justice 2 Committee on 11, 25 November 2003; 16 December 2003; 6, 13, 20, 27 January 2004; 3 February 2004

Local Government and Transport Committee on 11, 25 November 2003; 16 December 2003; 20 January 2004; 3 February 2004

Subordinate Legislation Committee on 27 January 2004; 10, 24 February 2004

05/03/04 - Stage 1 report published by Communities Commitee.

10/03/04 - Stage 1 Debate. The bill was passed at Stage 1.

Stage 2 (to be completed by 4 June 2004):


Communities Committee on 21, 28 April 2004; 5, 12, 13, 26, 27 May 2004

Pre-Stage 3:

Subordinate Legislation Committee on 8 June 2004

17/06/04 - The bill was passed at Stage 3 Debate by MSPs.

26/07/04 - The bill received Royal Assent and became an Act of the Scottish

Further Information

  1. download now
  2. Spice Briefing SB 03-91 Anti-Social Behaviour (Scotland) Bill
  3. 6th Marshalled List of Amendments for Stage 2 Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill
  4. Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill 2nd Marshalled List of Amendments for Stage 2
  5. 5th Marshalled List of Amendments for Stage 2 Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill
  6. 4th Marshalled List of Amendments for Stage 2 Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill Supplement
  7. Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill Explanatory Notes
  8. 4th Marshalled List of Amendments for Stage 2 Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill
  9. Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill (as amended at Stage 2)
  10. Marshalled List of Amendments as Selected for Stage 3 Anti-social Behaviour etc (Scotland) Bill
  11. Children in Scotland Policy Briefing
  12. Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill as introduced
  13. Supplement to 1st Marshalled List of Amendments for ASB (Scotland) Bill Stage 2
  14. Scottish Parliament Official Report Thursday 17 June 2004
  15. Stage 1 Report Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill
  16. Developing Local Outcome Agreements for the Better Neighbourhood Services Fund
  17. Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill Policy Memorandum
  18. Scottish Parliaments Communities Committee Website
  19. 3rd Marshalled List of Amendments for Stage 2 Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill
  20. 1st Marshalled List of Amendments for Stage 2 Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill
  21. Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004: Implementation Consultation
  22. Amendments to Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill Stage 2 lodged on 06/05/04
  23. Anti-Social Behaviour - the Existing Framework in Scotland
  24. Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Bill (as passed)