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What is Section 35 ABCP Act 2014 ?

Section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 grants police officers the power to direct a person to leave a specified area for up to 48 hours if certain conditions are met.

The Met Police were recently criticised for their use of Section 35 powers to arrest Tommy Robinson who was attending a march against antisemitism in London whilst working as a journalist.


(1) If the conditions in subsections (2) and (3) are met and an authorisation is in force under section 34, a constable in uniform may direct a person who is in a public place in the locality specified in the authorisation—

(a) to leave the locality (or part of the locality), and

(b) not to return to the locality (or part of the locality) for the period specified in the direction (“the exclusion period”).

(2) The first condition is that the constable has reasonable grounds to suspect that the behaviour of the person in the locality has contributed or is likely to contribute to—

(a) members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed or distressed, or

(b) the occurrence in the locality of crime or disorder.

(3) The second condition is that the constable considers that giving a direction to the person is necessary for the purpose of removing or reducing the likelihood of the events mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (b).

(4) The exclusion period may not exceed 48 hours.

The period may expire after (as long as it begins during) the period specified in the authorisation under section 34.

(5) A direction under this section—

(a) must be given in writing, unless that is not reasonably practicable;

(b) must specify the area to which it relates;

(c) may impose requirements as to the time by which the person must leave the area and the manner in which the person must do so (including the route).

(6) The constable must (unless it is not reasonably practicable) tell the person to whom the direction is given that failing without reasonable excuse to comply with the direction is an offence.

(7) If the constable reasonably believes that the person to whom the direction is given is under the age of 16, the constable may remove the person to a place where the person lives or a place of safety.

(8) Any constable may withdraw or vary a direction under this section; but a variation must not extend the duration of a direction beyond 48 hours from when it was first given.

(9) Notice of a withdrawal or variation of a direction—

(a) must be given to the person to whom the direction was given, unless that is not reasonably practicable, and

(b) if given, must be given in writing unless that is not reasonably practicable.

(10) In this section “public place” means a place to which at the material time the public or a section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission.

(11) In this Part “exclusion period” has the meaning given by subsection (1)(b).

Directions excluding a person from an area Section 35 ABCP Act 2014

These conditions include the officer having reasonable grounds to suspect that the person’s behaviour has contributed or is likely to contribute to members of the public being harassed, alarmed, or distressed, or to the occurrence of crime or disorder in the area.

The direction must be given in writing (unless impractical), specify the area, and may include requirements on the time and manner of departure, including the route. Failing to comply with the direction is an offence.

The power can be exercised by a Police Constable or a Police Community Support Officer. and must be authorised by a police officer of at least the rank of inspector. Section 34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 details the Authorisations to use powers under section 35.

(1) A police officer of at least the rank of inspector may authorise the use in a specified locality, during a specified period of not more than 48 hours, of the powers given by section 35.

“Specified” means specified in the authorisation.

(2) An officer may give such an authorisation only if satisfied on reasonable grounds that the use of those powers in the locality during that period may be necessary for the purpose of removing or reducing the likelihood of—

(a) members of the public in the locality being harassed, alarmed or distressed, or

(b) the occurrence in the locality of crime or disorder.

(3) In deciding whether to give such an authorisation an officer must have particular regard to the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly set out in articles 10 and 11 of the Convention.

“Convention” has the meaning given by section 21(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998.

(4) An authorisation under this section—

(a) must be in writing,

(b) must be signed by the officer giving it, and

(c) must specify the grounds on which it is given.

Authorisations to use powers under section 35 Section 34 ABCP Act 2014

Challenge a Section 35 Order

There are several ways to challenge the use of Section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 if you believe that the powers have been used inappropriately or unfairly :-

  1. Complain to the Police: Initially, you can make a complaint to the police force that issued the direction under Section 35. Each police force and local authority will have a formal complaints procedure.
  2. Independent Review: If you are not satisfied with the response from the police or local authority, you can seek an independent review. For police complaints, this may involve the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
  3. Judicial Review: As a last resort, you can consider a judicial review, which is a type of court proceeding where a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. A judicial review could challenge the way in which the powers were exercised.
  4. Legal Advice: It is advisable to seek legal advice if you are considering challenging the use of these powers. A solicitor can provide guidance on the merits of your case and the appropriate course of action.

Remember, the use of these powers is subject to certain conditions and must be proportionate to the issue being addressed. The rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as set out in the Human Rights Act 1998, must also be considered by the authorities when exercising these powers.

If you need detailed guidance or support, you may want to consult a legal professional who specialises in this area of law. They can provide personalised advice based on the specifics of your situation.

Public place” includes any highway and any other premises or place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise ”.

Section 33 Criminal Justice Act 1972

Check out our articles on HHJ FarquharHHJ Bedford and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

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