Premises closure orders are a powerful new weapon for local authorities in the battle against anti-social behaviour, say Kelvin Rutledge and Kuljit Bhogal
New powers to temporarily close premises associated with anti-social behaviour came into force on 1 December 2008. Amendments to the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 are similar to those already available to the police to close 'crack-houses' and are intended to provide immediate respite to communities living near disruptive premises.
The new provisions, however, extend existing laws in three important respects. Firstly, closure notices may be issued, and applications for closure orders can be made, by local authorities in consultation with the police. Secondly, closure orders are 'tenure neutral'. They apply not only to residential premises, whether rented or privately-own...