If someone causes you harassment, alarm or distress then it may be classed as anti-social behaviour (ASB).
Anti-social behaviour can be drug dealing or misuse, graffiti, vandalism, harassment and noise nuisance such as barking dogs or noisy neighbours.
Other examples are underage drinking, verbal or racial abuse, prostitution, abandoned vehicles and illegally dumped rubbish (fly-tipping).
If you are a Council tenant, more specific information on anti-social behaviour, the role you can play to help combat it and the action we will take can be found on our Housing page.
How to deal with it
Think - is there anything that you could do to stop the problem before reporting it?
For example, where an individual or neighbour is causing nuisance, can you speak with the person about the problem? Sometimes individuals are unaware that there is a problem or that their behaviour upsets others.
If you are experiencing problems from young people and you know where they live, can you speak with their parents/carers? Often parents don’t know what their children are up to when away from home and appreciate being informed of an incident so that they have the first opportunity to deal with it.
If you can speak with the perpetrator, stay calm and communicate in a polite manner, explaining how the problem is affecting you.
- Do not be verbally abusive.
- Listen to other people's points of view and give them the opportunity to speak.
- Try to reach an agreement.
- If you cannot reach an agreement because the perpetrator is being unreasonable, leave the discussion.
If you have spoken to the perpetrator and incidents are still happening, report it.
What is not anti-social behaviour
Under current anti-social behaviour law, we do not have the tools or powers to deal with the following:
- No ball games - We have no powers to prevent people playing in areas where there is a 'no ball games' sign. These signs are purely advisory and we no longer put them up. If permanent damage is being caused to property it should be reported to the police on 101.
- Civil disputes - including disputes over boundaries, rights of access, land ownership, building and development works. You should try to speak with your neighbour wherever possible or contact your solicitor.
- Illegal or nuisance parking or parking in visitor bays - The police can deal with obstruction only when a road, driveway or pavement is totally blocked. Dial 101 at the time of the obstruction.
- Children playing in residential areas - It is only anti-social behaviour if there is intimidation, verbal abuse or criminal damage to property.