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Anti-Social Behaviour

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.