Kangs Solicitors has recently been instructed to defend a client who is alleged to have committed the Public Order Offence of Affray.

The Court proceedings are currently ongoing.

In this article Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors highlights common forms of Public Order  Offences.     

Why Choose Kangs Solicitors? | Our Experience and Credentials

Kangs Solicitors has been successfully defending clients charged with alleged violent offences for many years.

The firm is rated as one of the best criminal law firms in the country and we are top ranked in both the leading legal directories, the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.  

Kangs Solicitors won the Legal 500 award for ‘Criminal & Fraud Law Firm of the Year’.

The firm’s founding solicitor Hamraj Kang won the Legal 500 award for ‘Individual Criminal & Fraud Solicitor of the Year’.

Our team can be contacted for immediate advice and assistance as follows:

The Relevant Law | Kangs Violent Crime Defence Solicitors

The Public Order Act 1986 creates the offences of:      

1 Riot.

‘(1) Where 12 or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety, each of the persons using unlawful violence for the common purpose is guilty of riot.

(2) It is immaterial whether or not the 12 or more use or threaten unlawful violence simultaneously.

(3) The common purpose may be inferred from conduct.

(4) No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene.

(5) Riot may be committed in private as well as in public places.’

2 Violent Disorder.

‘(1) Where 3 or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety, each of the persons using or threatening unlawful violence is guilty of violent disorder.

(2) It is immaterial whether or not the 3 or more use or threaten unlawful violence simultaneously.

(3) No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene.

(4) Violent disorder may be committed in private as well as in public places.’

3  Affray.

‘(1) A person is guilty of affray if he uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and his conduct is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety.

(2) Where 2 or more persons use or threaten the unlawful violence, it is the conduct of them taken together that must be considered for the purposes of subsection (1).

(3) For the purposes of this section a threat cannot be made by the use of words alone.

(4) No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene.

(5) Affray may be committed in private as well as in public places.

(6) A person guilty of affray is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or a fine or both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.’

4  Fear or Provocation of Violence.

‘(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a) uses towards another person threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or

(b) distributes or displays to another person any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, with intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used against him or another by any person, or to provoke the immediate use of unlawful violence by that person or another, or whereby that person is likely to believe that such violence will be used or it is likely that such violence will be provoked.

(2) An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is distributed or displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.’

4A  Intentional Harassment, Alarm or Distress.

‘(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he—

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or  insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.

(2) An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no   offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the person who is harassed, alarmed or distressed is also inside that or another dwelling.

(3) It is a defence for the accused to prove—

(a) that he was inside a dwelling and had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour  used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation displayed, would be heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling, or

(b) that his conduct was reasonable.’

5 Harassment, Alarm or Distress.

‘(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he—

(a) uses threatening or abusive words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening or abusive, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.

(2) An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.

(3) It is a defence for the accused to prove—

(a) that he had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, or

(b) that he was inside a dwelling and had no reason to believe that the words or behaviour used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation displayed, would be heard or seen by a person outside that or any other dwelling, or

(c) that his conduct was reasonable.’

Penalties Upon Conviction | Kangs National Crime Solicitors

Section 1 – Riot

A person guilty of riot is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, a fine or both.

Section 2 – Violent Disorder

A person guilty of violent disorder is liable on conviction:

  • on indictment, before a Crown Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, a fine or both, or
  • on summary conviction, before a Magistrates’ Court to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

Section 3 – Affray

A person guilty of affray is liable on conviction:

  • on indictment before a Crown Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, a fine or both, or
  • on summary conviction before a Magistrates’ Court to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

Section 4 – Fear or provocation of violence

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction, before a Magistrates’ Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, a fine or both.

Section 4A – Intentional Harassment, Alarm or Distress

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction, before a Magistrates’ Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, a fine or both.

Section 5 – Harassment, Alarm or Distress

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction before a Magistrates’ Court to a fine.

How Can We Help? | Kangs Public Order Offences Defence Solicitors

If you are concerned about any aspects of Public Order Offences, it is advisable to seek immediate expert advice.

We can explain your rights to you and provide you with guidance on any likely future action.

As a matter of course we:          

  • advise clients who anticipate that they may be arrested, 
  • advise clients generally in all matters concerning Public Order Offences,
  • represent clients at interviews under caution conducted by all law enforcement agencies, 
  • discuss with law enforcement agencies whether or not there is any potential mitigation available to avoid prosecution or court trial,  
  • provide representation before all criminal courts, 
  • identify and instruct suitable leading barristers, including QCs.   

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

Our expert criminal defence team is here to assist you and is available 24/7 on telephone number 07989 521 210 

We welcome enquiries by telephone or email.

We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video conferencing.

Contact:

Amandeep Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Suki Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0161 817 5020 | 0121 449 9888