Anti-Social Behaviour by Paige Williamson

24th July 2012
Anti-Social Behaviour by Paige Williamson image

Anti-Social Behaviour by Paige Williamson

am Paige Williamson, a student of the University Academy Holbeach, and I have chosen to do my 2 weeks work experience at Maples Solicitors LLP, at Spalding. I chose this placement to decide whether I wanted to further my education in Law. Maples have given me a good insight on the everyday life in the Law industry.

I have learnt about various aspects of the law and in particular I have considered the law relating to Anti-social behaviour because the government is currently considering changes to this area of law.

Anti-social behaviour is a term for an incident or accident that is affecting how others live their lives. Anti-social behaviour includes things such as bullying, vandalism, intimidation, nuisance of the public – such as neighbours.

New actions can now be made to try and resolve the problems that youths cause amongst the public. If the Police have evidence that someone is acting in an inappropriate manner and causing problems for the community they may ask that person to sign a behaviour contract- also known as an ABC (acceptable behaviour contract). These contracts can be given to anyone despite their age. These contracts are voluntary ones that are hand-written that states a person can no longer be in certain areas or be around certain people. It is not a criminal record so therefore will not be used against them if they was to be prosecuted for any offence and would not be used as evidence against them.

When the person signs this contract they agree to stop the anti-social behaviour and they might also be asked for instance to attend school or college and sometimes even regular counselling sessions.

The contract usually consists of 6months and the person is carefully guarded to ensure that this contract isn’t broken. If the contract was to be broken further action might be taken on the offender. The contract may be extended or a use of an Anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) will be permitted.

ASBO’s are usually given if a person over the age of 10 has committed a number of anti-social offences. This contract stops the offender going into certain areas or being around and spending time with certain people. The ASBO lasts approximately 2years, depending whether all conditions are lived up to and no other offence is committed. If no other offences are committed and there is an improvement on behaviour of the person some conditions may be lifted to allow more freedom of the offender. Should the conditions be broken then the order could be increased and the courts could imply a criminal record to that person for breaking it- this is a criminal offence. They may be arrested for this and their case will be heard in court. If the person is prosecuted their sentence will depend on their age and how serious the offence was.

The Government is now testing and introducing a new order to replace ASBO’s. The new order is named, Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO). It works by any anti-social behaviour being reported directly to the police by a minimum of 5 people, the Police with have a mandatory duty to investigate the reported incidents. This is referred to as the ‘community trigger’. CBO’s will give the police the option of applying to the courts for an order to stop and prevent anymore anti-social behaviour- this is described as ‘low level nuisance’. The CBO, after conviction, would allow the courts to restrict individuals from engaging in certain activities or being present in certain areas or places. If they were in breach of this order they could receive a maximum of 5year imprisonment. These new orders can be applied in a matter of days or even hours- where as ASBO’s are said to take to long to enforce on the offender.

Also proposed to replace the ASBO is an order called Crime Prevention Injunctions, (CPI). It works by the court knowing that the individual has engaged, will engage or engaging into anti-social behaviour to one or more persons. Any evidence would be permitted and the use of witnesses to prove the behaviour is not acceptable. The injunction would include prohibitions on the offenders’ future behaviour and may also include positive requirements to rule out the issues of the reason for the behaviour and any underlying problems the individual may have. There are currently disputes as to whether this order should be enforced in the Magistrates court or whether it should only be applied to an offender in the county courts.

If the offender was in breach of this order, it is not considered a criminal offence but will need to be proved that it was ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Breach of the injunction would usually be treated as contempt of court. If the CPI is heard in the County Court, it would be proposed that over18’s would be treated as if in contempt of court. However, if the CPI is heard in the Magistrates’ Court, specific sanctions for the breach would be enforced, such as fines and a maximum sentence on 6months. The sanctions would be civil sanctions and with no criminal conviction resulting the breach.

For under18’s, the matter would not be dealt with through contempt of court because they are unable to detain anyone under 18 for contempt and fines are hard to enforce. Therefore alternative sanctions would be required and that would be decided at the county court or the youth court.

Another way of dealing with anti-social behaviour is by enforcing Dispersal notices. Police officers may restrict people from certain areas where there is a high amount of anti-social behaviour being permitted. This means that once it is a dispersal area, police and community officers could ask any group of people to leave the area if they feel like an offence might be committed by them- they can also tell them that they mustn’t return to that area for a period of 24hours. Officers also have the power to ask any under16’s to leave the area after the time 9.00pm. If they refuse to leave they are committing an offence, and may be warned or possibly arrested depending on the refusal manner.

Officers will not bother you if you are just passing through a dispersal area or if they believe that you are highly unlikely to commit any type of offence. This will apply to all members of the public.


Who Will You Be Entrusting With Your Conveyancing? image

Who Will You Be Entrusting With Your Conveyancing?

WHO WILL YOU BE ENTRUSTING WITH YOUR CONVEYANCING WORK?  THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

Are the selling agents or perhaps the mortgage broker pushing or trying to persuade you to use a particular conveyancing firm? If so, we would strongly recommend that you ask the following pertinent questions so that, armed with all relevant facts, you are better able to make a reasoned decision:-

Why?

Are the agents receiving a kickback or referral payment from the firm concerned? Using a firm in cahoots with an estate agency inevitably leads to a potential conflict of interest. Will such firm be working in your best interests or simply those of the introducer? Here at Maples we pride ourselves on being completely independent and we consider the idea of a referral fee both abhorrent and unethical. We much prefer to obtain our work based on past performance and recommendation.

How Much?

Do not be misled by a seemingly attractive basic figure initially quoted but be sure to enquire about and read the small print for add ons for so called “extras” (such as mortgage costs, preparation of a stamp duty land tax return, telegraphic transfer fees and the like) which suddenly spring up at a later date and only become apparent in the firm’s final statement. Ensure that you are comparing like for like. Here at Maples, we give you a complete and all inclusive rundown of our professional charges and all disbursements at the outset, with no hidden extras.

Where?

Is the firm local or, as is more likely, based in a completely different part of the country? If the latter, then the transaction will, without a doubt, be dealt with by post, phone or email and lack any personal contact. Here at Maples we are fully accessible, like to meet our clients to discuss and advise upon the transaction face to face and share with you the benefit of our wealth of local knowledge and experience.

Who?

Will you actually be aware as to who will be dealing with the matter for you or will you simply be a reference or matter number at the end of a phone in a firm dealing with volume conveyancing? Here at Maples, you will be assigned to your own experienced and dedicated conveyancer who will be responsible for and deal with the transaction for you from beginning to end, with a high level of personal service throughout.

Making a hasty and bad appointment could seriously prejudice or delay your transaction and cost you dearly. Getting honest answers to these four simple questions at the outset could make all the difference.

To discuss any Conveyancing matters please contact either Claire Smith or Anita Zaborniak of our Conveyancing Team or telephone the office 01775 722261.

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Testimonials

Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

Daven Naghen LLB

"I felt the service I got from Maples was excellent and was very honest all through the process. I would recommend Maples as a first class Solicitors group"

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

This is the second time we have used Mike Pepper at Maples Solicitors in the sale of our house. We cannot praise Mike enough for the highly efficient and professional service that he has provided us with. He is by far the best solicitor we have ever worked with, and the service that he has provided us with has gone far and beyond anything we have ever experienced. We have found the whole process to be a very relaxing experience.

Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!

Anita Zaborniak

We found it a pleasure to deal with Anita Zaborniak, she was most helpful and informative and kept us up to date with the progress of the purchase of our new home. If we were to move again we wouldn’t hesitate to use Maples again.