The Crime & Courts Act 2013 received Royal Assent earlier this month and one of its provisions is intended to reduce the chilling effect on free speech of the Public Order Act 1986. Under section 5 of the 1986 Act, it is a criminal offence if words or behaviour are used which are threatening, abusive or insulting within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. Significant concern had been expressed that it was an unjustified interference with freedom of speech for individuals to enter the realm of the criminal law for using words which might be 'insulting', as opposed to being abusive or threatening. Section 57 of the 2013 Act will remove insulting speech and conduct from the section 5 offence from a date to be determined by a commencement order.