Anti-social behaviour policy and procedure

Types of ASB and/or nuisance (not exhaustive)

Forms of ASB

ASB can take many forms, some of which are listed below:

  • misuse of public spaces
  • rowdy, aggressive or threatening behaviour or language
  • property damage and vandalism
  • repeat verbal or written abuse, intimidation, harassment or threats
  • acts of violence
  • hate crime
  • anti-social behaviour as a result of misuse of drugs or alcohol
  • off road riding of motorbikes or mopeds
  • repeat noise nuisance including loud music, persistent alarms, excessively loud or frequent parties, shouting or yelling etc.
  • environmental issues including fly-tipping, vandalism, dog fouling, graffiti, fly posting, abandoned vehicles etc.
  • repeat nuisance from pets such as dogs barking or failing to control an aggressive dog

What would not be investigated?

With reference to this policy, the following matters will not be investigated by the partnerships team:

  • environmental issues including fly-tipping, vandalism, dog fouling, graffiti, fly posting, abandoned vehicles. Other departments are responsible for investigating these types of problems and reports can be made on our website

Behaviour that should not involve the council

There are often occasions where the involvement of an agency such as the local council or police can cause any dispute to escalate. Persons being complained about can take offence at the involvement of officials and this can exacerbate the matter, causing the loss of proportionality and perspective.   

Our approach will mean that with some less serious types of behaviour, parties should, wherever possible and practicable, seek to resolve the matter themselves peacefully and through positive communication. Some types of behaviour would not constitute ASB.

The following examples of behaviour are where we would not encourage complaints nor expect to investigate and these include:

  • everyday activities or household noise (e.g. washing machines, hoovers, use of stairs etc), including children playing and dogs barking
  • children playing ball games or congregating with no associated ASB
  • people staring at others with no other associated offending
  • people perceived as being unreasonable or unpleasant without significant harm
  • vehicles that are parked legally
  • disputes between neighbours over private matters, for example parking of vehicles

Whilst some of the above, if undertaken in the extreme, can cause significant harassment, alarm or distress, in the majority of cases, we would be unlikely to conduct any formal investigation nor explore use of legislative powers in these circumstances.   

In tackling ASB, the appropriate legislation and regulations must be complied with. In particular we and our partners have powers under, but not limited to, the following Acts of Parliament:

  • Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Data Protection Act 2003
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016
  • Equalities Act 2010
  • Housing Acts 1985, 1996 and 2004
  • Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005
  • Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978
  • Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007)
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Care Act 2014  Local Government Act 2000
  • Serious Crime Act 2015
  • Home Office Serious Violence Strategy (2018)

These acts contain both civil and criminal enforcement, both of which require different standards of proof. Civil offences are tried on the balance of probabilities, whereas criminal offences are tried beyond reasonable doubt. The standard of evidence gathered by us, before formal action can be taken will depend on the ASB in question and what is deemed to be the most appropriate course of action. To assist in our investigation of a complaint, the complainant will be required to provide evidence detailing what they have witnessed and/or experienced.