There are two main definitions of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), the first is contained with the ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014 and provides the following meaning:
- conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm, or distress to any person
- conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation or residential premises or
- conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person
The second definition is used by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO); Behaviour by an individual or group that results in:
- another party feeling personally threatened
- creates a public nuisance or
- has a detrimental impact upon the environment or has a detrimental effect upon the quality of life of an individual or the community.
Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 reforms the anti-social behaviour powers available to Police, Councils, and social landlords.
The following examples of behaviours are included in this definition of ASB:
- Nuisance behaviour– general rowdy behaviour and nuisance, prostitution, aggressive begging, street drinking, animal nuisance, motorbikes/vehicles being used in an anti-social manner
- Noise nuisance – loud music, playing ball games near to people’s houses.
- Intimidation or harassment – Malicious phone calls, offensive material through letter boxes.
- Environmental quality issues – Litter, dog fouling, fly tipping, abandoned vehicles, dumped rubbish.
- Aggressive and threatening language and behaviour – Verbal and physical abuse including threatening and offensive gestures.
- Violence against people and property – ASB-based vandalism, violence, arson, criminal damage.
- Hate behaviour – ASB based on targeting individuals because of their perceived differences. This includes race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and disability.
Anti-social behaviour is a broad term used to describe the day-to-day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder that make many people’s lives a misery – from litter and vandalism to public drunkenness or aggressive dogs, to noisy or abusive neighbours.