Launch of an anti-social behaviour consultation

Date published: 11 December 2023

The Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department for Communities (DfC) have launched a joint public consultation on potential amendments to the legislative framework aimed at ensuring the relevant authorities have effective and proportionate powers in place to deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB).

Anti-Social Behaviour text on plain background

The public consultation will consider the following areas:

  • Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) (DoJ);
  • Drinking in Public (DoJ & DfC, Social Policy Unit);
  • Injunctions Against Anti-Social Behaviour (DfC, Housing); and
  • Absolute Grounds for Possession in social housing (DfC, Housing).

Finalisation of policy and any subsequent legislative proposals following the consultation would require ministerial approval, however, this consultation will offer an opportunity for stakeholders to shape how we tackle ASB in Northern Ireland and allow this important work to progress.

The consultation launched on 28 November  and will close on 4 March 2024.

Those with an interest in helping tackle ASB are encouraged to share their views - Anti-Social Behaviour | Department of Justice ( or via citizenspace at Anti-Social Behaviour Consultation - NI Direct - Citizen Space

The Department of Justice is leading on considerations of the provisions within the Anti-Social Behaviour (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 (legislation governing ASBOs), and is working collaboratively with DfC to address the issue of drinking in public, including reviewing the un-commenced provisions of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008. 

DfC has identified two topics for future legislation: Injunctions Against Anti-Social Behaviour and Absolute Grounds for Possession in social housing. DfC aims to bring forward a Housing Bill that would amend the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 (in respect of injunctions against ASB) and the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 (in respect of grounds for possession of social housing).

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