There are several offences that can be grouped under the heading Public Order Offences and as the term suggests, these are offences that deal with keeping the good order of the community and can carry a term of imprisonment as a possible penalty.

The most common public order offences are offensive language; offensive conduct; wilful and obscene exposure; violent disorder; failure to move on; and custody of a knife in a public place. These offences are only committed if they take place in a public place or in or near a school.

A failure to move on when requested to do so by a police officer, in some circumstances, can amount to an offence as well, for example if a person is intoxicated at the time they may be committing a “failure to move on” offence.

More serious offences that generally occur in public, such as Affray and Riot have a maximum penalty of imprisonment of 10 years and 15 years respectively.

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