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Lords defeat UK plans to penalise 'annoying' behaviour

Published on Jan 9, 2014 6:12 AM

LONDON (AFP) - British government plans for new laws to penalise 'annoying' behaviour were defeated in the House of Lords on Wednesday by critics who warned they might be used against anybody from carol singers to nudists.

Unelected members of the upper house of parliament voted 306 to 178 to amend plans for new court-imposed injunctions to prevent nuisance or annoyance (Ipnas), the breach of which could lead to a prison term.

The measure is now likely to return to the House of Commons, the elected chamber of parliament, and will undergo further debate in both houses.

Ipnas were intended to replace existing anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos), which can be used to sanction anybody over the age of 10 engaging in behaviour causing "harassment, alarm or distress".

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