Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003

Cited as:2003 c. 38
Jurisdiction:UK Non-devolved


Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003

2003 CHAPTER 38

An Act to make provision in connection with anti-social behaviour.

[20th November 2003]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Premises where drugs used unlawfully

Part 1

Premises where drugs used unlawfully

S-1 Closure notice

1 Closure notice

(1) This section applies to premises if a police officer not below the rank of superintendent (the authorising officer) has reasonable grounds for believing—

(a) that at any time during the relevant period the premises have been used in connection with the unlawful use, production or supply of a Class A controlled drug, and

(b) that the use of the premises is associated with the occurrence of disorder or serious nuisance to members of the public.

(2) The authorising officer may authorise the issue of a closure notice in respect of premises to which this section applies if he is satisfied—

(a) that the local authority for the area in which the premises are situated has been consulted

(b) that reasonable steps have been taken to establish the identity of any person who lives on the premises or who has control of or responsibility for or an interest in the premises.

(3) An authorisation under subsection (2) may be given orally or in writing, but if it is given orally the authorising officer must confirm it in writing as soon as it is practicable.

(4) A closure notice must—

(a) give notice that an application will be made under section 2 for the closure of the premises

(b) state that access to the premises by any person other than a person who habitually resides in the premises or the owner of the premises is prohibited

(c) specify the date and time when and the place at which the application will be heard

(d) explain the effects of an order made in pursuance of section 2

(e) state that failure to comply with the notice amounts to an offence;

(f) give information about relevant advice providers.

(5) The closure notice must be served by a constable.

(6) Service is effected by—

(a) fixing a copy of the notice to at least one prominent place on the premises,

(b) fixing a copy of the notice to each normal means of access to the premises,

(c) fixing a copy of the notice to any outbuildings which appear to the constable to be used with or as part of the premises,

(d) giving a copy of the notice to at least one person who appears to the constable to have control of or responsibility for the premises, and

(e) giving a copy of the notice to the persons identified in pursuance of subsection (2)(b) and to any other person appearing to the constable to be a person of a description mentioned in that subsection.

(7) The closure notice must also be served on any person who occupies any other part of the building or other structure in which the premises are situated if the constable reasonably believes at the time of serving the notice under subsection (6) that the person's access to the other part of the building or structure will be impeded if a closure order is made under section 2.

(8) It is immaterial whether any person has been convicted of an offence relating to the use, production or supply of a controlled drug.

(9) The Secretary of State may by regulations specify premises or descriptions of premises to which this section does not apply.

(10) The relevant period is the period of three months ending with the day on which the authorising officer considers whether to authorise the issue of a closure notice in respect of the premises.

(11) Information about relevant advice providers is information about the names of and means of contacting persons and organisations in the area that provide advice about housing and legal matters.

S-2 Closure order

2 Closure order

(1) If a closure notice has been issued under section 1 a constable must apply under this section to a magistrates' court for the making of a closure order.

(2) The application must be heard by the magistrates' court not later than 48 hours after the notice was served in pursuance of section 1(6)(a).

(3) The magistrates' court may make a closure order if and only if it is satisfied that each of the following paragraphs applies—

(a) the premises in respect of which the closure notice was issued have been used in connection with the unlawful use, production or supply of a Class A controlled drug;

(b) the use of the premises is associated with the occurrence of disorder or serious nuisance to members of the public;

(c) the making of the order is necessary to prevent the occurrence of such disorder or serious nuisance for the period specified in the order.

(4) A closure order is an order that the premises in respect of which the order is made are closed to all persons for such period (not exceeding three months) as the court decides.

(5) But the order may include such provision as the court thinks appropriate relating to access to any part of the building or structure of which the premises form part.

(6) The magistrates' court may adjourn the hearing on the application for a period of not more than 14 days to enable—

(a) the occupier of the premises,

(b) the person who has control of or responsibility for the premises, or

(c) any other person with an interest in the premises,

to show why a closure order should not be made.

(7) If the magistrates' court adjourns the hearing under subsection (6) it may order that the closure notice continues in effect until the end of the period of the adjournment.

(8) A closure order may be made in respect of all or any part of the premises in respect of which the closure notice was issued.

(9) It is immaterial whether any person has been convicted of an offence relating to the use, production or supply of a controlled drug.

S-3 Closure order: enforcement

3 Closure order: enforcement

(1) This section applies if a magistrates' court makes an order under section 2.

(2) A constable or an authorised person may—

(a) enter the premises in respect of which the order is made;

(b) do anything reasonably necessary to secure the premises against entry by any person.

(3) A person acting under subsection (2) may use reasonable force.

(4) But a constable or authorised person seeking to enter the premises for the purposes of subsection (2) must, if required to do so by or on behalf of the owner, occupier or other person in charge of the premises, produce evidence of his identity and authority before entering the premises.

(5) A constable or authorised person may also enter the premises at any time while the order has effect for the purpose of carrying out essential maintenance of or repairs to the premises.

(6) In this section and in section 4 an authorised person is a person authorised by the chief officer of police for the area in which the premises are situated.

S-4 Closure of premises: offences

4 Closure of premises: offences

(1) A person commits an offence if he remains on or enters premises in contravention of a closure notice.

(2) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he obstructs a constable or an authorised person acting under section 1(6) or 3(2),

(b) he remains on premises in respect of which a closure order has been made, or

(c) he enters the premises.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction—

(a) to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or

(b) to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale,

or to both such imprisonment and fine.

(4) But a person does not commit an offence under subsection (1) or subsection (2)(b) or (c) if he has a reasonable excuse for entering or being on the premises (as the case may be).

(5) A constable in uniform may arrest a person he reasonably suspects of committing or having committed an offence under this section.

S-5 Extension and discharge of closure order

5 Extension and discharge of closure order

(1) At any time before the end of the period for which a closure order is made or extended a constable may make a complaint to an appropriate justice of the peace for an extension or further extension of the period for which it has effect.

(2) But a complaint must not be made unless it is authorised by a police officer not below the rank of superintendent—

(a) who has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to extend the period for which the closure order has effect for the purpose of preventing the occurrence of disorder or serious nuisance to members of the public, and

(b) who is satisfied that the local authority has been consulted about the intention to make the complaint.

(3) If a complaint is made to a justice of the peace under subsection (1) the justice may issue a summons directed to—

(a) the persons on whom the closure notice relating to the closed premises was served under subsection (6)(d) or (e) or (7) of section 1

(b) any other person who appears to the justice to have an interest in the closed premises but on whom the closure notice was not served,

requiring such person to appear before the magistrates' court to answer to the complaint.

(4) If the court is satisfied that the order is necessary to prevent the occurrence of disorder or serious nuisance for a further period it may extend the period for which the order has effect by a period not exceeding three months.

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