Public order offences in a garden or gardens

09 August 2017

Not reviewed after the date of publication

Question:

Regarding sections 4, 4A and 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, if one person is in their own back garden and the other is in their own back garden, is the offence carried out?

Answer:

We can confirm that offences under the Public Order Act 1986, whether under section 4, 4A or 5 could be committed if they were in their own separate gardens or in the same garden.

Subsection (2) of all these three sections use the same terminology as each other in that –

'An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed … by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling.'

Section 8 (D391 on PNLD) interprets the meaning of dwelling, which is basically a structure (or part) and so does not include the garden –


'means any structure or part of a structure occupied as a person's home or as other living accommodation (whether the occupation is separate or shared with others) but does not include any part not so occupied, and for his purpose 'structure' includes a tent, caravan, vehicle, vessel or other temporary or movable structure.'

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