Anti-social behaviour

How to deal with neighbour issues

We are unable to take action in most cases involving a neighbour dispute.

For issues about parked cars, ball games and CCTV, we recommend reading our information on how you can try to resolve these issues.

Parked cars 

The law says that as long as your vehicle is taxed and you are not breaking any other traffic laws, you are allowed to park anywhere on a public road where it is legal to do so.

Etiquette, good manners and common sense are the main ingredients in avoiding parking disputes with your neighbours. Most people would choose to park outside their own home anyway because of the convenience, but this is not always possible.

There is no automatic right to park outside your home. Basically, it’s an unwritten ‘rule’ that people will generally tend to park outside their own home but it’s important to note that no one has an automatic right to do so. It’s not always possible and, in addition to residents, other road users also have the right to park outside your home providing they are not breaking the Highway Code.

How to resolve this issue?

To resolve this issue, the only thing you can do is to try to have a friendly word with your neighbour and explain to them why you’d prefer to park in front of your own house. You may find that they didn’t realise it bothered you and often simple courtesy and speaking with your neighbour will resolve the problem.

Children playing ball games

Ball games are a lot of fun for the young people playing them, but can become a source of disturbance for others and so can cause a lot of friction in neighbourhoods that would otherwise be very peaceful.

The playing of ball games is not against the law and 'no ball games' signs are not enforceable. However, ball games deliberately and persistently played recklessly and leading to property damage can be classed as anti-social behaviour, something that we take very seriously.

We take a neutral, balanced view on the issue of ball games and expect residents to take responsibility within their own neighbourhood and work together to reach a compromise.

Tips for keeping the peace

Footballers, sports people and parents please remember:

  • respect other residents right to a peaceful and safe environment. Not everyone will enjoy your game as much as you
  • if you have older kids and they are having a match, encourage them to head to the park
  • use a soft ball to prevent damage to your neighbours fences, gardens and cars. Ask before retrieving play equipment
  • where possible play outside your house not anybody else's
  • keep the noise and the ball down and do not let your game become anti-social
  • don't use foul or abusive language
  • don’t kick the ball against neighbours walls or fences
  • beware of your own safety and the safety of other road users
  • small grassed areas outside homes may only be suitable for younger children
  • respect the 'no ball games' and 'considerate use' signs
  • parents, check where your children are playing and make sure other residents are not disturbed
  • compromise, talk and agree with your neighbours on a time and a place for your games
  • playing ball games is not anti-social behaviour
  • residents, spectators and passers-by please remember:
    • respect people's right to play in their own neighbourhood
    • remember parents/guardians may wish their young children to play nearby
    • expect, within reason, the noise of the children/youths playing after school, at weekends and in the evening
    • no ball games' signs are a request not a bylaw
    • it is not illegal to play football on a grassed verge or open space
    • there may be only one grassed area for children to play safely in their own neighbourhood
    • sometimes it is better for young people to divert their energies into playing sport rather than doing other things
    • compromise, create a dialogue, speak to your neighbours to find an agreeable time and location to play
    • open spaces are for the use of everyone

CCTV on private properties

Residents sometimes complain that a neighbour’s CCTV camera is 'intrusive' and consider this to be anti-social behaviour.

The use of CCTV in general is regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998 which is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO website contains further advice on domestic use of CCTV.

Photographs or moving images of individuals are 'personal data' for the purposes of the legislation. Although there is an exemption that covers 'personal data processed by an individual', this so-called 'domestic purposes' exemption only applies if the camera’s field of view is restricted to the householder’s own property. In earlier years, it was assumed that the exemption applied even if the camera overlooked the street or other areas near the house. However, following a European Court of Justice ruling in 2014 this assumption no longer holds.

If a householder cannot rely on the domestic purposes exemption, then they are subject to a number of requirements in the Data Protection Act. This includes a need to notify the ICO that they are a 'data controller', observe the eight data protection principles and pay an annual fee of £35. Details of the obligations resulting and of how to notify are published on the ICO website.