Affray is defined as an instance of group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace.

  • A fight between two or more people in a place where members of the general public are present (for example in a public house, discotheque, restaurant or street) with a level of violence such as would put them in substantial fear (as opposed to passing concern) for their safety (even though the fighting is not directed towards them);
  • Indiscriminate throwing of objects directed towards a group of people in circumstances where serious injury is or is likely to be caused;
  • The wielding of a weapon of a type or in a manner likely to cause people substantial fear for their safety or a person armed with a weapon who, when approached by police officers, brandishes the weapon and threatens to use it against them;
  • Incidents within a dwelling should not be charged as affray merely because a lesser public order charge is not available. Offences of assault are likely to be more appropriate. Affray should be considered in circumstances analogous to those listed above where serious violence is used or threatened, and with due regard to the principles set out in R v Sanchez.

Under section 3 of the Act, it must be proved that a person has used or threatened:

  • unlawful violence;
  • towards another;
  • and his conduct is such as would cause;
  • a person of reasonable firmness;
  • present at the scene;
  • to fear for his personal safety


The seriousness of the offence lies in the effect that the behavior of the accused has on members of the public who may have been put in fear. 

If you have been charged with Affray then feel free to contact our expert team of Criminal Solicitors serving you since 2008. Our head office is based in London and Branch office is in Cardiff.