Dealing with intimidating behaviour

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An order on conviction may be appropriate where someone has been convicted in court for an offence related to their intimidation or harassment of another person.

Where action is taken in a county court in Scotland and Northern Ireland, an ASBO can be made against a party to the main proceedings or another adult whose conduct is material to the proceedings.

In England and Wales a Criminal Behaviour Order may be obtained where an offender has been convicted of an offence and has engaged, or is likely to engage, in conduct likely to cause harassment, distress or alarm to others and the order is likely to prevent this in the future.

Conditions of the orders may include a ban from the area where the victims live or a specific ban on approaching or communicating with the victims.

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In some cases, the victim and the perpetrator live close to each other, often as neighbours.

Because these court orders are made in civil proceedings, hearsay evidence can be used to protect victims who are too scared to come to court.

For more information on ASBOs and anti-social behaviour in general, see our sections.

The intensity and frequency of incidents, combined with the proximity of victim and perpetrator, not only makes harassment and intimidation extremely distressing, it also makes it difficult for recipients of this kind of abuse from taking a stand and speaking out against the behaviour.

Local authorities have a responsibility to take immediate enforcement action to protect those who are being harassed or intimidated.

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