What is anti-social behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is a broad term that is used to describe a number of different types of behaviour that can have a negative impact on local communities. Terms such as ‘nuisance’, ‘disorder’ and ‘harassment’ are also used.
Examples of ASB include:
- nuisance neighbours
- unacceptable behaviour and intimidating groups taking over public spaces
- vandalism, graffiti and fly-posting
- people dumping rubbish and abandoned cars
- begging and anti-social drinking
- misuse of fireworks
- reckless driving of mini-motorbikes
The responsibility for dealing with ASB can be shared between a number of agencies but particularly the local authorities, the police, registered social landlords, private landlords and a number of others.
Criminal damage can cover many things, from throwing an egg at your house, to scratching a car with a key. The official definition is, “criminal damage is any damage which has been caused by an individual intentionally or recklessly to property belonging to another without lawful excuse”.
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 was introduced to put victims at the heart of how we deal with ASB. It reduced the number of powers available to six. The new powers were designed to give professionals the flexibility to deal with a given situation quickly, and encourage multi-agency working to help alleviate ASB within local communities. These powers are now available for North Lincolnshire Council, Humberside Police and key partners to respond to ASB. They include:
- Civil Injunctions
- Criminal Behaviour Orders
- Community Protections Warning/Notice
- Public Space Protection Order
- Dispersal Power
- Closure Power
Along with this it also brought in the Community Remedy and the Community Trigger to give victims of ASB a voice and enable them to request that their ASB case is reviewed if they feel this has not been adequately dealt with.
There are also a number of options for early intervention with the aim of resolving the ASB before it reaches a level where formal powers are needed. These interventions are very successful and bring together many agencies that can have a significant impact on ASB, and help to improve the outcomes for all involved. Some of the types of early intervention that can help are:
- acceptable behaviour contracts
- parenting contracts
- good neighbour agreements
- support for individuals and families
A referral to drug and alcohol services can also be made to support individuals.
For more information, take a look at the Government’s anti-social behaviour leaflet.