Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is when someone or groups of people act in a way that causes harassment, alarm or distress to others.
ASB is defined in law as:
'Where a person has acted; in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not from the same household as him/herself. This sort of behaviour includes but is not limited to behaviour such as unruly and drunken behaviour, fly tipping, graffiti, threatening and abusive language, domestic violence and many other types of behaviour which prevents others from enjoying a normal life.'
There are many different types of anti-social behaviour, and sometimes relatively minor disputes between neighbours can escalate into incidents of anti-social behaviour.
ASB can include:
- harassment: hate crime, intimidation, verbal abuse, bullying
- noise: animals such as barking dogs, car and property alarms, TVs / stereos on too loud, fireworks, parties and loud music, DIY, running a business from home
- parking: abandoned vehicles, obstructions, dangerous parking, caravans or HGVs
- nuisance: gatherings, vandalism, graffiti, fireworks, joyriding / bikes, harassment
- use and trade of illicit substances such as drugs
- other types: fly tipping, overgrown gardens, dog fouling, roaming animals / pets
What is not ASB?
Some actions can be annoying but are not classed as anti-social unless they become persistent or escalate to other forms of nuisance.
- noise from children playing
- personal differences
- normal living noise such as doors banging, toilets flushing etc.
What you can do about ASB
You can report the incident to the relevant authority:
- the police for criminal matters
- Animals, pests and pollution
- Abandoned vehicles
- Bins, litter and flytipping
- Anti-social behaviour on council estates
You can also take private legal action.