What is antisocial behaviour?
Antisocial behaviour is classed as any behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. It can range from low level persistent nuisance to serious violence. It includes all behaviour that harms residents’ quality of life in and around their homes such as:
- Harassment of other residents
- Drug dealing
- Dumping rubbish
- Shouting, swearing, offensive gestures etc
- Creating excessive noise
- Using parking areas for non-authorised use
- Allowing pets to be a nuisance
- Behaving violently or making threats of violence.
Everyone has the right to live peacefully in their home and community, and we expect you, your household and your visitors to behave in a responsible way and to respect other tenants and residents in your local area. We will take action if you or your household do not behave appropriately, cause nuisance or annoyance to others or act in an antisocial manner.
When dealing with antisocial behaviour, we take a victim-centred approach and will offer clear advice and support. We will investigate all complaints of antisocial behaviour and always aim have someone available to deal with antisocial behaviour during office hours. We will review all open cases after three months, and if we feel your case should be closed we will let you know and give you an opportunity to appeal.
What to do if you are experiencing antisocial behaviour
What actions to take depends on the seriousness of the situation. Often it is best for you to try to speak to the person causing the problem as they may not realise the effect their behaviour is having. However, this may not be appropriate in all situations. For example, if you are experiencing harassment, intimidation, actual or threatened violence you should contact the police immediately.
If you have tried speaking to the person causing the problem and this has made no difference, please report it to us and we can discuss how best to deal with the situation. We will offer you advice and arrange for a Housing Officer to contact you to assess the problem.
In most cases we will agree an action plan with you within 5 to 10 days of you reporting the problem. The action plan will include an agreement on how and when we will communicate with you and how any necessary support can be provided.
If you report domestic violence or harassment a Housing Officer will contact you within one day.
What actions can be taken?
We use a range of measures to deal with antisocial behaviour, including early intervention such as warning letters, home visits and mediation, as well as multi-agency approaches to enforcement action if the behaviour does not stop. The measures we use depend on the circumstances, and we will discuss with you the best options for resolving your particular case.
Most of our approaches will involve you and/or other agencies. These may include:
- Warnings and home visits
- Using other agencies e.g. local environmental health
- Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs)
- Parenting contracts or PCAs (Parental Control Agreements)
- Tenancy demotions
- Possession action to evict the tenant.
Where appropriate, we will work with the police on closure orders and disbursement orders.
The actions we take will depend on:
- The type of behaviour and its impact on others
- The age of the perpetrator
- Whether the perpetrator is a resident
- Whether the perpetrator is vulnerable
- What actions are likely to be most effective.
We will aim to remove offensive or discriminatory graffiti within 24 hours of it being reported.
What about legal action?
Whilst legal action is not the answer in most cases of antisocial behaviour, sometimes it is the best option. Some legal options that we can use are:
- Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)
- Tenancy demotion orders
- Possession orders.
We can provide you with more information about these. If you decide to take legal action we will need good evidence to present to the court so we will often ask you to keep a diary of incidents. You will usually also need to attend court and give evidence.
How can I find out more information?
You can read more about our approach to antisocial behaviour in our antisocial behaviour policy and our service standards.
Report antisocial behaviour
If you have witnessed or are suffering from the effects of antisocial behaviour please report it.