The Chief Constable of Lancashire v Potter: Admn 13 Oct 2003

The claimant appealed refusal of an Anti-Social Behaviour order by the magistrates. The respondent was a street prostitute in Preston. The magistrates had declined to aggregate her behaviour with that of others to find that it caused harrassment alarm or distress to a criminal standard of proof.
Held: The court is being asked to decide something inherently speculative. The word ‘likely’ had to be construed to a lesser standard of rigour than, for example, in re H. It was important not to confuse the sections requiring evidence that the respondent had caused a particular effect when asking itself whether such an effect was likely. The standard remained the criminal one of being sure. It was wrong to look for behaviour to a standard not set down in the Act. ‘It is a question of fact whether any individual prostitute, by her contribution to that activity and its overall effect, has caused a ‘problem’ which is caught by section 1(1)(a). Proof of such a fact need not depend on the attribution to her of proved ‘aggravated conduct’ of other prostitutes that might, considered on its own, constitute harassment, alarm or distress. ‘ The appeal succeeded, and the case was remitted for reconsideration.


Lord Justice Auld Mr Justice Goldring


[2003] EWHC 2272 (Admin), Gazette 06-Nov-2003




Crime and Disorder Act 1998 1(1)


England and Wales


CitedClingham (formerly C (a minor)) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Regina v Crown Court at Manchester Ex parte McCann and Others HL 17-Oct-2002
The applicants had been made subject of anti-social behaviour orders. They challenged the basis upon which the orders had been made.
Held: The orders had no identifiable consequences which would make the process a criminal one. Civil standards . .
CitedRegina v Howell (Errol) CACD 1981
The court considered the meaning of the legal concept of a breach of the peace.
Held: The essence is to be found in violence or threatened violence. ‘We entertain no doubt that a constable has a power of arrest where there is reasonable . .
CitedIn re H and R (Minors) (Child Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) HL 14-Dec-1995
Evidence allowed – Care Application after Abuse
Children had made allegations of serious sexual abuse against their step-father. He was acquitted at trial, but the local authority went ahead with care proceedings. The parents appealed against a finding that a likely risk to the children had still . .
See AlsoChief Constable of Lancashire v Potter Admn 24-Jan-2003
Refusal of ASBO – anti-social behaviour order – prostitute. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 02 April 2022; Ref: scu.186737