Drink and Drugs News DDN October 2018 | Page 14

Alcohol policy

Civil injunctions and criminal behaviour orders can be a treatment opportunity , says Mike Ward

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IN MY PREVIOUS TWO ARTICLES in DDN ( June , page 23 and September page 12 ), I discussed various legal powers which can be used to help people with chronic alcohol problems , including the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act – both of which are challenging to apply in practice .
A third group of legal powers that can be used are Civil Injunctions ( CIs ) and Criminal Behaviour Orders ( CBOs ). Unlike the other two powers , government guidance has clearly specified that they should be used for people with alcohol problems . The challenge is how to turn that into a reality .
These powers were introduced in 2014 and replaced the much better known ASBOs ( anti-social behaviour orders ). 1 The new orders are similar to ASBOs ; they allow courts to ban behaviours ( such as visiting a specified location , carrying an open drink container ), but they also allow positive requirements , which encourage lifestyle changes that can prevent future anti-social behaviour .
The two powers are essentially the same , but CBOs are usually sought as part of an existing prosecution – whereas CIs require a separate legal process . The police are most likely to initiate an application for a CBO ; the CIs are more likely to be used by local authorities and housing associations . Of the two , the CBO is by far more commonly used .
Most importantly , the guidance supporting the legislation states that these orders are appropriate for people whose anti-social behaviour is due to alcohol problems and that the positive requirements can include mainstream alcohol interventions , such as to receive support and counselling or attend alcohol awareness classes . This could equally apply to drug interventions .
In some ways , these orders are similar to Alcohol Treatment Requirements ( ATRs ) or Drug Rehabilitation Requirements ( ie probation orders with a treatment condition ). However , whereas the ATRs are usually offered as a choice instead of a prison sentence , the CBOs and CIs can be imposed without client consent . That does not mean that someone can be ‘ forced to
have treatment ’, but if they repeatedly do not comply with their order , this could lead to a prison sentence of five years .
Some people dislike this approach because of the danger of increasing someone ’ s involvement in the criminal justice system . However , if all other strategies to protect the public from a person ’ s anti-social behaviour have failed , then CBOs and CIs are an option which may ultimately protect someone from the most serious consequences of their behaviour .
***** OVER THE LAST YEAR , an Alcohol Research UK-funded project has been running to help community safety and alcohol treatment staff develop alcohol-focused positive requirements . More than 100 staff from local authorities across England and Wales have contributed , alongside three over-subscribed regional workshops . This project has been well received and there is real local interest in how these orders can best be used .
This article comes out of a more detailed report on this topic , which is available on the Alcohol Concern website . 2 This research evidence shows a positive impact from these orders for many clients . However , the key finding from the research is that further work is required to enable alcohol and drug treatment services to support these orders . For example , at times people have been given requirements to engage with services , without any consultation with the services expected to deliver the interventions . Therefore , more needs to be done to engage and include alcohol treatment services from the beginning of any CBO or CI process .
Anti-social behaviour is a serious concern , which causes alarm and distress to communities , often to the most vulnerable . We believe that senior police officers , police and crime commissioners and community safety managers should work with public

‘ CBOs and CIs can be imposed without client consent .’

health commissioners to design service specifications and contracts that support treatment service involvement in positive requirements .
The CBOs and CIs are not the only powers in the 2014 Act that can be used to help people with longterm substance misuse . Other powers include closure orders and the community trigger . For details on these interventions , see the guidance on the government ’ s website . 1
To learn more about this research and for training opportunities , email mward @ alcoholconcern . org . uk
Home Office ( 2017 ). Anti-social Behaviour , Crime and Policing Act 2014 : Anti-social behaviour powers . Statutory guidance for frontline professionals . Available at : https :// www . gov . uk / government / uploads / system / upl oads / attachment _ data / file / 332839 / StatutoryGuidan ceFrontline . pdf , pp . 1-67 .
Alcohol Concern and Alcohol Research UK ( 2018 ). Tackling alcohol-related anti-social behaviour through Civil Injunctions and Criminal Behaviour Orders : A missed opportunity ? Available at : https :// www . alcoholconcern . org . uk / tackling-alcoholrelated-anti-social-behaviour-through-civilinjunctions-and-criminal-behaviour-orders , pp . 1-19 .
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