07/06/23

New Public Order Offences | Public Order Act 2023

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The Public Order Act 2023, (‘the Act’), implements new offences designed to support existing Police powers by enabling them to respond more effectively to dangerous protests.

Mohammed Ahmed sets out these new offences.

Kangs Solicitors enjoys an enviable reputation, developed over many years, for providing first class service advising and defending clients facing accusations of criminal conduct of every nature.

We are recognised as one of the leading Criminal Defence firms in the country, being ‘Top Ranked’ in the leading legal directories Chambers UK and The Legal 500.

For an initial no obligation discussion, please contact our team at any of the offices detailed
below:

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The New Offences Under The Act

The Act provides as follows:

Section 1 – Offence of locking on

(1) A person commits an offence if—

        (a) they—

                   (i) attach themselves to another person, to an object or to land,

                   (ii) attach a person to another person, to an object or to land, or

                   (iii) attach an object to another object or to land,

         (b) that act causes, or is capable of causing, serious disruption to—

                     (i) two or more individuals, or

                    (ii) an organisation,

               in a place other than a dwelling, and

          (c) they intend that act to have a consequence mentioned in paragraph (b) or are  reckless as to whether it will have such a consequence.’

A person who commits such an offence is liable on summary conviction, before a Magistrates’ Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the maximum term for summary offences, to a fine or to both.

Section 2 – Offence of being equipped for locking on

(1) A person commits an offence if they have an object with them in a place other than a dwelling with the intention that it may be used in the course of or in connection with the commission by any person of an offence under section 1(1)(offence of locking on).’

A person who commits such an offence is liable on summary conviction, before a Magistrates’ Court, to a fine.

Section 7 – Interference with use or operation of key national infrastructure

(1) A person commits an offence if—

         (a) they do an act which interferes with the use or operation of any key national infrastructure in England and Wales, and

        (b) they intend that act to interfere with the use or operation of such infrastructure or are reckless as to whether it will do so.’

A person who commits such an offence is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, before a Magistrates’ Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the general limit in a Magistrates’ Court, to a fine or to both;

(b) on conviction on indictment, before a Crown Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, to a fine or to both.

Section 15 – Stop and search

Section 15 of the Act permits the police to have wider stop and search powers with and without suspicion in order to prevent disruptive protests.

How We Can Assist?

Despite much criticism of the Act, it received Royal Assent on 2 May 2023. The Government states that it fully supports the right of individuals engaging in peaceful protests.

If you have been arrested or charged, or anticipate being so, with any alleged criminal offences, including those arising under the Act, it is essential that you receive expert legal advice immediately.

The team at Kangs is committed to assisting clients facing criminal allegations and potential prosecution of every nature, at every level, and would be delighted to hear from you.

We are recognised as one of the leading Criminal Defence firms in the country, being ‘Top Ranked’ in the leading legal directories Chambers UK and The Legal 500.

Should you find yourself facing accusations of criminal conduct of any nature, please don't hesitate to contact our team.

Contact:

Mohammed Ahmed

Mohammed Ahmed
Associate

Email Phone
Helen Holder

Helen Holder
Partner

Email Phone
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