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Public Order Offences Solicitors

There are a wide range of criminal offences that can be categorised as Public Order offences. These can range from less serious cases such as being drunk and disorderly, to more serious offences such as taking park in a riot.

Here you can find additional details about different sections of Public Order offences that are included in the Public Order Offences Act 1986.

Be sure to contact our friendly team of expert criminal defence solicitors if you are arrested or charged with any Public Order offences to secure professional and reliable legal representation.

Riot – Section 1

A riot is defined as 12 or more people in a group who use or threaten to use unlawful violence for a common purpose. In addition, their behaviour and conduct have that effect that a typically ‘firm’ person would be afraid. More

Violent Disorder – Section 2

Violent disorder is essentially the same offence as riot except for one small difference. This offence is defined by only 3 people or more, rather than 12 people or more. More

Affray – Section 3

This offence is similar to both riot and violent disorder and again involves making a person of reasonable firmness feel scared through the threat or use of violent behaviour. The difference is that affray involves a minimum of 2 people. More

Threatening Behaviour – Section 4

This offence is defined as having intent to cause a person to believe that unlawful violence will be used against them or another by any person. In addition, any conduct that is capable of amounting to threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour can come under Section 4 of the Public Order Act. More

Intentional Harassment, Alarm or Distress – Section 5

This particular offence is made up of two elements and is broadly similar to Section 4. The accused may only be found to be guilty of they intend to cause harassment, alarm or distress to another person by being abusive, insulting or threatening. This includes:

  • Words
  • Behaviour
  • Written signs/other representations

You can find more information on section 5 here.

Drunk and Disorderly

This offence is defined as being guilty of behaving in a disorderly fashion in a public space whilst under the influence of alcohol. The level of disorderly behaviour can be determined by police at their own discretion. More


If you are facing charges regarding one or more of these offences and would like guidance from one of our knowledgeable and trustworthy public order offence solicitors, get in touch through our online contact form or give us a ring on 01244 344299.

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