Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006, which provides for civil proceedings in relation to anti-social behaviour by adults, was commenced on 1 January 2007. Part 13 of the Act, which relates to anti-social behaviour by children, was commenced on 1 March 2007. These provisions set out an incremental procedure for addressing anti-social behaviour by adults and children. With regard to children, these range from a warning from a member of An Garda Síochána, to a good behaviour contract involving the child and his or her parents or guardian, to referral to the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme and finally to the making of a behaviour order by the Children Court. With regard to adults, they include a warning and the making of a civil order by the court.
The Act provides that a person behaves in an anti-social manner if the person causes or, in the circumstances, is likely to cause, to one or more persons who are not of the same household as the person harassment, significant or persistent alarm, distress, fear or intimidation or significant or persistent impairment of their use or enjoyment of their property.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that it would require a disproportionate expenditure of Garda time and resources to identify and precisely categorise the types of incidents for which behaviour warnings, good behaviour contracts, behaviour orders and civil orders are issued. However, my understanding is that the majority of situations which give rise to behaviour warnings or orders appear to arise from public order type incidents.