Anti-social behaviour and civil preventive measures: creating localised criminal codes?

Demetriou, Stavros (2018) Anti-social behaviour and civil preventive measures: creating localised criminal codes? Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the implementation of anti-social behaviour (ASB) tools and powers in England and Wales. The main focus of this thesis is to assess how the 2014 amendments to the ASB regime have been implemented and to explore whether this resulted in the indirect criminalisation of certain kinds of behaviour. Although, in theory, the rationale underpinning these measures (such as the Part 1 injunction) is the prevention of further ASB, the ambiguous drafting of the relevant legislation in conjunction with the significant degree of discretion granted to local enforcement agents appear to allow for the imposition of sanctions akin to criminal punishment. Central to this thesis is the assumption that despite the preventive nature of these measures, it is essential to look beyond the official classification of legal rules (ie, ASB rules as non-criminal) and investigate how these have been implemented in practice. To achieve this, a working definition of criminalisation is formulated in order to determine whether the rules in question should be regarded as criminal or non-criminal.
The theoretical analysis of criminalisation and of the relevant legislation relating to ASB was complemented by empirical data collected through twenty-nine interviews in two counties in England. As part of the empirical study, semi-structured interviews with local practitioners and police officers were conducted.
The findings of this research do not only shed light on the implementation of the 2014 amendments, but they also challenge a number of preconceptions regarding criminalisation and the administration of ASB. This research found that in most cases the implementation of these measures did not result in the indirect criminalisation of ASB based on the working definition of criminalisation formulated in this thesis. The study found that although the administration of ASB is primarily risk-driven, it was also informed by a number of other factors, such as the need to address the underlying causes of the behaviour in question. However, the study also found that there was, in some cases, scope for the implementation of ASB measures to be used as a means of criminalisation. This meant that non-criminal conduct could be criminalised indirectly.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV6001 Criminology
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2018 12:36
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 11:38
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/72761

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