In January 2014, and after a year-long campaign, the Government finally backed down over its plans to outlaw nuisance or annoyance by any person, in any place. Its Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNAs) – the proposed replacement for Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) – were widely criticised as being too vague, leading to fears that anyone from street preachers to buskers could be caught.
The House of Lords voted 306 to 178 in favour of an amendment tabled by former Chief Constable Lord Dear that replaced the “nuisance or annoyance” threshold. In the face of this massive defeat, the Government brought forward compromise amendments which mean that a higher threshold of “harassment, alarm or distress” will need to be met before an injunction is issued. The “nuisance or annoyance” test will now apply only to injunctions in the context of social and private housing.