Definition of the Public Order Act from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Public Order Act

; NAmE
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a British Act of Parliament which replaced the old Riot Act in 1986. It was introduced in response to the riots (= violent protests by groups of people) in Toxteth, Brixton and other places in the early 1980s, and gave the police new powers to control crowds and arrest people who they thought threatened public order. The Act also created several new offences under the law, including 'violent disorder', 'threatening behaviour' and 'disorderly conduct'. Police powers were increased by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

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