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
- Assault or physical violence including domestic violence
- Dumping of litter or rubbish
- Breaches of tenancy conditions
- Racist or homophobic abuse or graffiti