Homeless Connect responds to Anti-Social Behaviour Consultation

by | Mar 1, 2024 | News

Anti-Social Behaviour Consultation

In November, the Departments of Justice and Communities launched a consultation on proposals to amend legislation which seeks to respond to Anti-Social Behaviour in NI. The proposals cover the following areas:

  • Drinking in Public
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO’s)
  • Injunctions Against Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Absolute Grounds for Possession

Our Response

Homeless Connect recognises that anti-social behaviour can lead to a wide variety of harms for those who experience it and that it is important that proportionate tools are available to statutory authorities to respond to it. These proposals, if implemented, are highly likely to impact on people experiencing homelessness.

At Homeless Connect, we believe it is vital to listen to the voices of people with lived experience of homelessness in policy and legislative development. We organised a focus group of individuals with lived experience of homelessness to consider the proposals put forward by the Department. Our response has been informed by what they told us. We are hugely grateful to the folks who took the time to engage with these proposals as part of our response process.

Regrettably, up to this point it does not appear that people with lived experience of homelessness have been a part of the consultation process run by the Departments. Our response outlines that “it is imperative that the two Departments look to engage directly with people with lived experience of homelessness on these proposals to ensure that their voices are heard in this consultation process.” We hope the Departments listen and respond to this.

On the basis of the consultation documents produced by the Departments, we retain concerns about many of the proposals set out in terms of what the impact on people at risk of or experiencing homelessness might be in practice if they were to be implemented. In our view, a fundamental weakness in the consultation documents is a failure to provide a clear and empirically based evidence base behind the proposals. This lack of evidence makes it difficult to evaluate the proposals and what their impact might be. Considering the impact the implementation of these proposals could have on people’s lives, this is particularly disappointing.

You can read our full response to the consultation here.


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