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What is Anti-social Behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour can cover a wide range of situations ranging from minor neighbour disputes arising from a difference in life styles to serious criminal behaviour.

There is no simple definition for anti-social behaviour.

To describe anti-social behaviour we refer to the following broad definitions as found in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Housing Act 1996:

  • "Acting in a manner that caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as themselves" - Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • "Conduct causing or likely to cause nuisance or annoyance to a person residing, visiting or otherwise engaged in lawful activity in the locality" - Housing Act 1996. For the purpose of the Housing Act 1996, the anti-social behaviour must directly or indirectly relate to the housing management function, or involve the use of (or the threat to use) housing accommodation owned or managed by a relevant landlord for an unlawful purpose.

There are a many factors which on their own or in combination can constitute anti-social behaviour as defined above. The following are some of the most common:

  • Excessive noise (especially late at night)
  • Threatening or swearing at neighbours
  • Criminal activity
  • Nuisance caused by animals
  • Vandalism
  • Assault or physical violence including domestic violence
  • Dumping of litter or rubbish
  • Breaches of tenancy conditions
  • Racist or homophobic abuse or graffiti
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