The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014) contains a raft of powers intended to prevent anti-social behaviour (ASB). The Act consolidates and expands previous ASB legislation (for example ASBOs), but has received comparatively less evaluation or critique within academic literature. One specific power contained within the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014) is the Community Protection Notice (CPN), which imposes requirements on an individual or body to do, or stop doing, specific actions/behaviours or achieve a specified result. For example, a CPN can prohibit the recipient from having noisy parties, or require a dog owner to keep their dog on a lead at all times. There is no limit to the types of behaviour that CPNs can sanction.
A CPN can be issued by any authorised persons including the police, local authority and social housing providers to people over the age of 16 committing ASB; a breach of which results in a £100 fixed penalty notice or a possible criminal conviction. These notices are not issued through a court and thus require a low/no standard of evidence. The flexibility of the power and diverse range of authorising bodies result in wide range of issuing and recording practices. Prior to this piece of work, the only research conducted in to the use of CPNs was by The Manifesto Club, an organisation that campaigns against the hyper-regulation of everyday life. Their research, which constituted Freedom of Information requests to local authorities, highlighted an increasing use of CPNs, many of which were vaguely worded or poorly evidenced. The range of behaviours prohibited was vast, including begging and rough sleeping, being naked in public, feeding birds in a garden, and swearing (Appleton, 2015).
This exploratory research project aims to fill a gap in the academic literature by investigating the experiences of people who have received a CPN. We want to understand why, and most importantly how, they came to receive a CPN. Plus, we are keen to understand how their ASB is being monitored, alongside any enforcement action taken. The research will be facilitated through our partnership with the Manifesto Club to help us access CPN recipients. There has yet to be any empirical research on the implementation or enforcement of CPNs, which provides us with the opportunity for significant advancement of understanding and knowledge exchange.
The project is now complete and a policy briefing paper containing the key findings and recommendations for policy can be found here (PDF, 791.3KB).