ASB Help consulted on an urgent COVID-19 related case of anti-social behaviour which was heard in a County Court yesterday. Barrister Iain Wightwick, of Unity Street Chambers, was engaged by the landlord in the first case that we know of to obtain a Part 1 Interim Injunction Order against two residents of a sheltered housing scheme. The Order prevents them from putting vulnerable people at risk of serious harm and potentially death because of their refusal to adhere to the government’s social distancing requirements.

Please see Iain’s article for more information here:

Injunction against two over 60-year-olds

ASB Help urges all practitioners to embrace the versatility of the tools and powers contained in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers provide you with urgent recourse for cases of COVID-19 related ASB. Remember the statutory test is for a Part 1 Injunction is A SIGNIFICANT RISK OF HARM BE THAT PHYSICAL OR MENTAL.

The nature of anti-social behaviour does not change because its power to cause distress to victims remains constant. But the character of anti-social behaviour does change, and this includes COVID-19.

We urge all practitioners to adapt and respond using the powers available to them. Please circulate this case to your colleagues in Registered Housing Providers, Police Forces or Local Authorities so they know that it is possible to manage urgent COVID-19 cases of ASB and reduce the harm of it.

This case shows the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 works if we use it in the spirit it was enacted: TO PREVENT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR, in whatever form it may take AND REDUCE THE HARM IT CAUSES TO VICTIMS.

Emma Robert

1 comment so far

Iain Wightwick Posted on4:10 pm - 2nd April 2020

Thank you, ASB Help, for recognising the benefit which the Act can provide to people.
You are quite right – the 2014 Act is versatile and provides a good alternative to police action where residents need urgent protection.
In this case, the Police were very helpful but the perpetrators were ignoring and challenging them as they sought to keep people safe. We shall now see whether the two men expose themselves to arrest.
If readers on your site wish to discuss the case further I am happy to do so – I’m available in Chambers every day and happy to respond to emails/calls, or to talk to people/set up a video discussion/advise organisations.