Antisocial behaviour

What is antisocial behaviour (ASB)?

Antisocial behaviour is defined in law as ‘conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person’. Housing-related nuisance or annoyance means behaviour that affects a local authority or social landlord’s ability to manage their housing. With housing, antisocial behaviour can include: 

  • loud noise from neighbours; 
  • harassment such as verbal abuse or threats; 
  • vandalism, property damage and graffiti; 
  • fly-posting, dumping rubbish and abandoned cars; 
  • animal nuisance.
Our definition of ASB

We’ve adopted the following definitions of ASB, as conduct that:

‘causes, or is likely to cause, a nuisance or annoyance to anyone directly or indirectly as to interfere with the quiet enjoyment of their home or affects our housing management functions or consists of, or involves, using or threatening to use our homes and neighbourhoods for an unlawful purpose.’ 

Examples of ASB include:
  • violence against people and/or property; 
  • aggressive and/or threatening behaviour or language (including causing or committing any act of violence or any form of harassment, intimidation or abuse against any member of our staff or anyone authorised to act on our behalf); 
  • any type of hate behaviour that targets members of identified groups because of their perceived differences; 
  • domestic violence or abuse (incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour violence or abuse between those who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender); 
  • intimidation and/or harassment; 
  • alcohol related ASB; 
  • drug related ASB, being used or sold in the area; 
  • using a property for illegal or unlawful purposes e.g. the production, storage and/or selling of illegal substances, the storage of stolen goods, prostitution; 
  • noise nuisance such as shouting, banging or slamming doors, loud music; 
  • problems caused by pets such as persistent dog barking or fouling; 
  • litter, graffiti or dumping of rubbish (fly tipping); 
  • misuse of communal areas; 
  • nuisance from vehicles including abandoned vehicles.
Things we generally don’t class as being ASB:
  • children playing; 
  • one-off incident of loud noise; 
  • one-off incident of a dog barking; 
  • noise complaints related to hearing footsteps from a property above 
  • actions which amount to people being generally unpleasant to one another, including name-calling and disputes on social media such as Facebook, unless it amounts to harassment or hate crime; 
  • parking issues. 

Reporting antisocial behaviour or hate crime 

If you experience problems, it’s important to keep an up-to-date record of events, noting the day, date, time and nature of the behaviour causing you annoyance or distress. This can help you get some perspective on how often it’s happening. If you decide to take formal action at some stage, it can help others to see an established pattern of nuisance over a period of time. 

You can either: 

  • call the emergency services on 999 if you, or anyone in your neighbourhood, is in immediate danger; 
  • report it to the police on 101 if it’s a not an emergency; 
  • alternatively, you can report it to us by completing the form on this page or by calling us on 0345 345 0272; 
  • get involved in Neighbourhood Watch.  

For further support, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

Reporting it to us 

When you report a problem, our specialist team will carry out an initial assessment. We’ll ask you questions about the incident and the events leading up to it to identify any urgent actions that need to be taken. An action plan will be agreed with you setting out the following: 

  • how the initial investigation will be carried out; 
  • how you can work with us to provide the necessary evidence (this may involve keeping a written or recorded diary); 
  • the most appropriate method of resolution, with realistic outcomes; 
  • how often you will be contacted by your preferred method of communication throughout the case. 

We aim to complete an initial review of all new ASB reports and contact you within two working days. 

Employee safety 

When we visit your home, we expect to feel safe and respected, just as we expect you to feel safe too.  
As part of our ongoing work, we’re focussing on mutual respect. No one should fear abuse, threats or intimidation, of any description, whilst doing their job.  We make it clear, as part our antisocial behaviour policy, and as part of our commitment to provide excellent customer care and high-quality services, that we always do our very best to treat you with respect. We expect you to treat our colleagues the same way. 
We appreciate that the vast majority of residents are respectful and friendly, no matter what the situation. It’s only a minority who can be abusive or even violent towards our employees. However, we must deal with this and reiterate that we have a zero-tolerance approach towards any attacks, verbal or physical, against our employees. 
We also may refuse to continue communicating with you if any negative behaviour persists. 
In serious or ongoing cases, we may also take legal action against someone who has behaved in a violent or abusive way towards us. However, we will deal with all incidents on a case by case basis, and take the most appropriate action.

Hate Crimes, as defined by the Equality Act

Hate Crimes, as defined by the Equality Act, are any crimes that are perceived to be targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s: 

  • disability 
  • race or ethnicity 
  • religion or belief 
  • sexual orientation 
  • transgender identity 
  • alternative subculture

This can be committed against a person or a property, and can be expressed in many forms, and might include: 

  • verbal abuse 
  • assault 
  • vandalism 
  • graffiti or offensive literature 
  • threatening behaviour 
  • disputes on social media
Community Trigger 

We work in partnership with agencies, including the police and local councils, to tackle and resolve cases of ASB. We engage fully with the Community Trigger case review process, which you can find out more about on your local council’s website. 

What is the Community Trigger? 

If you’ve repeatedly reported an ASB issue to us and we haven’t taken any action to resolve it, you can apply for the Community Trigger, also known as the ASB Case Review. 
The Community Trigger is set out in Sections 104 and 105 of the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

It enables you to request a review of your ASB case if certain thresholds are met. As a registered provider of social housing, we’re required to cooperate with the process as defined in the Act. 

The threshold for activating a Community Trigger is: 

  • three or more complaints made to us in the previous six-month period; 
  • the persistence of the antisocial behaviour; 
  • the harm, or potential harm, caused by the antisocial behaviour; 
  • the adequacy of response to the antisocial behaviour by us. 

You should only use Community Trigger if we haven’t taken any action as a result of you repeatedly reporting the ASB issue to us.  

Applying for or activating the Community Trigger does not interfere with your right to follow our internal complaints/ASB procedure. Both processes can run at the same time.

How to activate the Community Trigger?

To activate it, you need to contact your local authority and make an application with them. 
You’ll need to give the council: 

  • your name, address, contact details; 
  • a description of the antisocial behaviour incident. 

You’ll also need to let the council know, either: 

  • the three times you’ve reported this issue already, or 
  • the name of four other people who’ve also reported the issue. 

To find out more, go to your local council’s website.

ASB and hate crime incident reporting form