Crime and Disorder Act 1998

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Crime and Disorder Act 1998

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Long titleAn Act to make provision for preventing crime and disorder; to create certain racially-aggravated offences; to abolish the rebuttable presumption that a child is doli incapax and to make provision as to the effect of a child’s failure to give evidence at his trial; to abolish the death penalty for treason and piracy; to make changes to the criminal justice system; to make further provision for dealing with offenders; to make further provision with respect to remands and committals for trial and the release and recall of prisoners; to amend Chapter I of Part II of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 and to repeal Chapter I of Part III of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997; to make amendments designed to facilitate, or otherwise desirable in connection with, the consolidation of certain enactments; and for connected purposes.
Chapter1998 c. 37
Territorial extent England  Wales  Scotland
Dates
Royal Assent31 July 1998
Commencementin force
Other legislation
Related legislationCivic Government (Scotland) Act 1982; Crime (Sentences) Act 1997; Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997; Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Official text of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database
 
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Crime and Disorder Act 1998

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Long titleAn Act to make provision for preventing crime and disorder; to create certain racially-aggravated offences; to abolish the rebuttable presumption that a child is doli incapax and to make provision as to the effect of a child’s failure to give evidence at his trial; to abolish the death penalty for treason and piracy; to make changes to the criminal justice system; to make further provision for dealing with offenders; to make further provision with respect to remands and committals for trial and the release and recall of prisoners; to amend Chapter I of Part II of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 and to repeal Chapter I of Part III of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997; to make amendments designed to facilitate, or otherwise desirable in connection with, the consolidation of certain enactments; and for connected purposes.
Chapter1998 c. 37
Territorial extent England  Wales  Scotland
Dates
Royal Assent31 July 1998
Commencementin force
Other legislation
Related legislationCivic Government (Scotland) Act 1982; Crime (Sentences) Act 1997; Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997; Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Official text of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from the UK Statute Law Database

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c.37) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act was published on 2 December 1997 and received Royal Assent in July 1998. Its key areas were the introduction of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, Sex Offender Orders, Parenting Orders, granting local authorities more responsibilities with regards to strategies for reducing crime and disorder, and the introduction law specific to 'racially aggravated' offences. The Act also abolished rebuttable presumption that a child is doli incapax (the presumption that a person between ten and fourteen years of age is incapable of committing an offence) and formally abolished the death penalty for treason and piracy.

Contents

Main provisions

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders

 UK

The Act introduced a civil remedy called the Anti-Social Behaviour Order (or ASBO). These orders are made against people who have engaged in anti-social behaviour which in the United Kingdom is defined as 'conduct which caused or was likely to cause alarm, harassment, or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as him or herself and where an ASBO is seen as necessary to protect relevant persons from further anti-social acts by the Defendant'.

In England and Wales, the orders are made by the Magistrates Courts and in Scotland by the Sheriff Courts. The provisions of the 1998 Act have since been modified by the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.

Sex Offender Orders

 England  Wales

A Sex Offender Order is a similar concept to the Anti-Social Behaviour Order with the key difference being that it is specifically aimed at those people in society that are deemed "sex offenders". The Act allows a police officer to approach the Magistrates Court and show that he has reasonable cause to believe that there is a need for an order to be made to protect the public from harm.

The conditions placed in such an order are those that are needed to prevent harm to the public. The order can be made for a minimum of 5 years unless the court upholds a complaint for the order to varied or discharged.

A breach of a Sex Offender Order renders the person to which the order applies, liable for imprisonment, on summary conviction, for up to six months or on conviction on indictment, up to five years and/or a fine.

The act only applies to those people that are defined as a 'sex offender' per Section 3(1) of the act or namely that the person has been convicted of an offence under Part I of the Sex Offenders Act 1997, wasn't found guilty as a result of insanity, or has been cautioned for such an offence and at the time admitted it or has been convicted of a similar offence in any country outside of the United Kingdom and the offence would have been deemed a sexual offence under UK law.

Parenting Orders

 England  Wales

A Parenting Order is an order made against the parent(s) of a child which has been given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order, has been convicted of an offence, or the parent has been convicted of an offence under section 443 or 444 of the Education Act 1996. Its intention is that the parent must follow its requirements in order to prevent similar behaviour in their child as that which lead to the conviction/order being made against them. The order can be made for a period not exceeding 12 months. There are restrictions on orders being made that interfere with the parents' or child's religious beliefs or that interfere with the times which the parent normally attends work or an educational institution. If the parenting order is breached, the parent(s) could be liable to a fine, not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.[1].

Racially or religiously aggravated offences

 England  Wales

Sections 28 to 32 of the Act create separate offences for crimes that were aggravated by the victim's race or religion or presumed race or religion. They did not originally apply to crimes that are aggravated by the offender's perception of the victim's membership to a religion but it was amended by section 39 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.

Racially or religiously aggravated assaults

Unlawful wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm

Section 29(1)(a) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated wounding or infliction of bodily harm. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (see grievous bodily harm) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

Section 29(1)(b) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 47 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 (see assault occasioning actual bodily harm) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of either of these offences is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.29(2)).

Common assault

Section 29(1)(c) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated common assault. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits a common assault which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

This offence is triable either way.

A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.29(3)).

Racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage

Section 30(1) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 1(1) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 (see also criminal damage) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.30(2)).

Racially or religiously aggravated public order offences

Fear or provocation of violence and intentional harassment, alarm or distress

Section 31(1)(a) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated fear or provocation of violence. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986 (see fear or provocation of violence) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

Section 31(1)(b) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986 (see intentional harassment, alarm or distress) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of either of these offences is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.31(4)).

Harassment, alarm or distress

Section 31(1)(c) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress. A person is guilty of this offence if he commits an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 (see harassment, alarm or distress) which is racially or religiously aggravated within the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of this offence is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale (s.29(3)).

Arrest

Sections 31(2) and (3) formerly provided a statutory power of arrest for offences under section 31(1). They were repealed by section 174 of, and Part 2 of Schedule 17 to, the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

Racially or religiously aggravated harassment etc.

Harassment

A person is guilty of an offence under section 32(1)(a) if he commits an offence under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which is racially or religiously aggravated withtin the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.32(3)).

Putting people in fear of violence

A person is guilty of an offence under section 32(1)(b) if he commits an offence under section 4 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which is racially or religiously aggravated withtin the meaning of section 28.

A person guilty of this offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both (s.32(4)).

Scotland Scotland

Section 33 amended the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995 by inserting a new section 50A. This creates the offence of racially aggravated harassment.

Local authority responsibilities

 England  Wales

Each Local Authority[2] in England and Wales was given the responsibility to formulate and implement a strategy to reduce crime and disorder in their area.[3] The Act also requires the local authority to work with every police authority, probation authority, health authority, social landlords, the voluntary sector, and local residents and businesses. Known as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) in England, and Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) in Wales, the Home Office may require any Partnership to supply details of their community safety arrangements.[4]

Other provisions

Section 34 of the Act abolished the rebuttable presumption that a child (defined as a person under fourteen but over the age of ten) is incapable of committing an offence (doli incapax). Section 36 of the Act abolished the death penalty for all offences of treason and for the offence of piracy with violence (under the Piracy Act 1837), replacing it with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

See also

References

  1. ^ For an analysis of the underlying ideology of this section of the Act which links "poor" parenting and crime see Fell, P. Blaming the Parents. Unpublished MA dissertation, Manchester:Manchester Metropolitan University, 2001.
  2. ^ Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s.5(1); Local Government Act 1972 s.270(1)
  3. ^ Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s.6
  4. ^ Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s.7

Further Reading