Act targets the most vulnerable: solicitor

Aboriginal Legal Service of WA solicitor Sarouche Razi.
Aboriginal Legal Service of WA solicitor Sarouche Razi.

Speaking at a WA Law Society event recently, Mr Razi said it was doubtful the Prohibited Behaviour Orders Act 2010 had reduced anti-social behaviour and had instead cut off those in need from accessing key support services.

‘The Perth CBD is the only stable place for sleeping rough and few homeless support agencies are located outside of these areas,’ Mr Razi said.

‘At its heart, the PBO Act targets the most vulnerable to push them out of communal urban spaces.’

The Act, under review by the State Government, was introduced in 2010, the same year the UK abolished its Anti-Social Behaviour Orders ” on which the WA legislation was based ” after the orders were found to be ineffective in reducing anti-social behaviour.

A PBO imposes restrictions on a person aged 16 and over, who could face imprisonment if the order is breached.

Acting Police Minister John Day said the PBO legislation had been an effective and important tool for police to disrupt anti-social behaviour by repeat offenders.

‘The legislation does not target a particular group of people,’ Mr Day said.

‘It provides respite to the community from anti-social individuals who cause trouble in particular areas.’

Acting Assistant Commissioner for Judicial Services Lawrence Panaia said PBOs and move-on notices did not prevent issues, they just changed conviction outcomes.