Lords reject government’s antisocial, crime and policing bill

Police Officers On Dutyoriginally by: The Guardian 
published: 9 January 2014

The government suffered a big defeat in the House of Lords on Wednesday evening over its planned new injunctions to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Peers voted by 306 to 178, majority 128, against the plans amid fears that noisy children, carol singers and nudists could fall victim to the new injunctions.

The government wants to replace antisocial behaviour orders (asbos) with a new type of measure, an ipna (injunction to prevent nuisance and annoyance).

But peers, led by crossbencher Lord Dear, a former chief constable of West Midlands, and supported by several prominent Tories, said the injunctions cast the net too wide and put at risk “fundamental freedoms” and free speech.

Peers backed Dear’s amendment to the antisocial behaviour, crime and policing bill that would replace the phrase “nuisance and annoyance” in the legislation with “harassment, alarm or distress” – the words used for asbos. He forced a vote on the issue despite the Home Office minister, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, promising talks on the issue and possible concessions if he withdrew his amendment.

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