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The Public Order Act 2023

The Public Order Act 2023 (POA 2023) received Royal Assent on 2nd May 2023 creating a raft of new criminal offences (sections 1-9 and 14), whilst broadening the ‘stop and search’ powers (sections 10-13) and legislating processions, assemblies and one-person protests (sections 14-16).

The POA 2023 has created the following new criminal offences:

Section 1 – ‘Offence of locking on’

Section 2 – ‘Offence being equipped for locking on’

Section 3 – ‘Offence of causing serious disruption by tunnelling’

Section 4 – ‘Offence of causing serious disruption by being present in a tunnel’

Section 5 – ‘Offence of being equipped for tunnelling etc’

Section 6 – ‘Obstructing major transport works’

Section 7 – ‘Interference with use or operation of key national infrastructure’ (as defined by section 8)

Section 9 – ‘Offence of interference with access to or provision of abortion services’                              

Section 14 – ‘Offence of intentionally obstructing a constable in the exercise of a constable’s powers under section 11’

If you are under investigation or facing criminal proceedings concerning allegations brought under the Public Order Act 2023, you can speak with one of our lawyers in confidence.

Please contact the Public Defender Service at any one of our four offices. We are available 24hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Cheltenham: 01242 548270

Darlington: 01352 289480

Merthyr Tydfil: 01443 629724

Swansea: 01792 633 280

For further details:

Public Order Bill: factsheet – GOV.UK (

Public Order Act 2023 (