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Violent disorder

Date Updated: January 2012

Title: Public order

Offence: Violent disorder

Legislation: Section 2 Public Order Act 1986

Mode of Trial: Either Way

Statutory Limitations & Maximum Penalty: 5 years

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

Aggravating factors indicating higher culpability and greater degree of harm

  • Large group,
  • people put in fear,
  • busy public place.
  • Vulnerable victims,
  • use of weapons,
  • fighting between rival groups.
  • High level of damage, and /or injuries.

Factors indicating lower culpability

  • Impulsive action.
  • Provocation.

Relevant Sentencing Council Guideline (if any)


Relevant sentencing Guidelines (If any)


Relevant Sentencing Case Law

For sentencing guidance in cases of serious disorder see

R v Chapman (2002) 146 S.J., CA
D took part in a street riot which lasted 12 hours. His actual involvement lasted 15 minutes. He threw stones at the Police and re-armed himself in order to continue. 3 years in a YOI upheld on a guilty plea.

In all cases of public disorder, the approach to be adopted is to consider not only the precise nature of the individual acts which can be attributed to the defendant but also the nature of the offending as a whole.

R v Hebron and Spencer 11 Cr. App. R (S) 226
R v Rees [2006] 1 Cr. App. R (S)


Ancillary Orders:

  • Compensation
  • Asbo
  • Banning Orders

Consider Also:

  • This is a specified offence for the purposes of the public protection provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003

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