'A town hall threatened an 81-year-old with legal action after she was given an order banning her from wearing a bikini in her garden.
It was just one of more than 20,000 new-style ‘Asbos’ which have been handed out in recent years to homeowners accused of minor ‘anti-social’ activities such as keeping chickens or feeding birds.
Pensioner Kay Crane, a former model from Greater Manchester, was last year told not to wear her bikini in view of a neighbouring nursery.
On 12 occasions, the orders have been used to instruct residents to trim overgrown gardens.
Three families were told to stop keeping chickens, and North Warwickshire council ordered a householder to improve a dilapidated shed.
Introduced in 2014, the community protection notices are reportedly being used at a rate of more than 100 a week.
Unlike Asbos, which were imposed by magistrates, they are the responsibility of council-appointed officials.
In the first year of their use, councils made 3,943 orders. But Freedom of Information requests show that in the year to last October, the annual total had risen to 6,234.
The Manifesto Club, the public spaces campaign group which analysed the figures, said notices were often a spin-off from neighbour disputes.
Spokesman Josie Appleton said it was wrong that they could be issued at the whim of an official, without legal process.
She added: ‘This is a cowboy approach to criminal justice that brings the law and local authorities into disrepute. These powers need to be urgently reviewed... to avoid further injustice and innocent people being penalised.’
Defying the orders can bring a penalty of £100, or £2,500 if a case goes to court, and potentially even prison.'
Source - Daily Mail
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