Anti-Social Behaviour

 

The term Anti-social Behaviour (ASB) covers a wide range of unacceptable activity that impacts the lives of people on a regular basis. It often leaves victims feeling helpless, desperate and with a seriously reduced quality of life. Terms such as ‘nuisance’, ‘disorder’, ‘harassment’ and intimidation are often used to describe this type of behaviour. To be classed as anti-social behaviour it needs to be a clear pattern of behaviour over a period of time.

The Safer Arun Partnership focus resources based on the principle of whether an issue is causing harm to an individual, community or neighbourhood.

Personal Harm

Where an individual or group of individuals suffer physical, mental or emotional harm, regardless of whether the individual was deliberately targeted or whether inflicting harm was the perpetrators’ intention.  It is recognised that some people are more liable to be negatively impacted by ASB for various reasons where there are certain vulnerabilities or they are repeat victims.

Public Nuisance

Where an individual or group of individuals use inconsiderate behaviour which has the potential to impact negatively on another individual or group, for example, such behaviours as noise and rowdy behaviour in shopping centres, parks or when leaving pubs and clubs.

Environmental Harm

Includes behaviour which causes harm to the environment, such as graffiti, fly-tipping and littering.

 

Issues not considered to be Anti-social Behaviour

The list below is not exhaustive, but highlights some of the issues that will not automatically be dealt with, but where possible will be sign-posted to more appropriate agencies and organisations.

  • Noise from children playing
  • Low level neighbour disputes; e.g. boundaries, bonfires
  • Family disputes
  • Highway parking complaints, unless there is significant and repetitive obstruction involved
  • People gathering socially
  • Lifestyle choice differences
  • One-off noise disturbances
  • Reasonable noise from vehicles on the highway
  • Some matters related to animal nuisance

Isolated incidents cannot be classed as anti-social behaviour, nor can run of the mill disputes between neighbours or petty intolerance due to different lifestyles. If you have a dispute with your neighbour you can contact the Sussex Mediation Service for help and advice.

 

Arun District Council Anti-social Behaviour Team

Arun District Council has a dedicated Anti-Social Behaviour Team who are co-located in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis police stations from Monday to Friday working closely with the Neighbourhood Policing Teams. This makes sure all anti-social behaviour issues and concerns are dealt with in a co-ordinated way throughout the Safer Arun Partnership.

 

Reporting Anti-social Behaviour

You should always call 999 immediately if:

  • A crime is being committed now
  • The offender is still there or nearby
  • People are injured, being threatened or in danger.

You can use the following methods to report anti-social behaviour:

 

Community Trigger

If you have reported anti-social behaviour and feel you haven’t had a response you can request a review of the case using the Community Trigger.

 

Support for Victims and Witnesses

Anti-social Behaviour can have a severe impact upon its victims and partner agencies are therefore committed to supporting them to ensure they are treated promptly, fairly, with dignity and respect, and in confidence. 

 

Support for Victims and Witnesses will include:

  • Providing the victim with a clear understanding of the process, choices and options available (including the opportunity to have their evidence given by professional witnesses)
  • Ongoing support before and after the case, keeping them informed of any related developments
  • Regular communication with the victim and witnesses
  • Referral to appropriate support agencies with the victim’s consent
  • Prompt responses to reports of ASB
  • Treating victims and witnesses sympathetically and sensitively
  • The issue of diary sheets where necessary (or other appropriate recording means) to record future incidents
  • Working with the police to help prevent further intimidation
  • Offer to arrange a familiarisation visit to the courts where required
  • Provision of an interpretation service where people have limited or no understanding of English
  • Provision of assistance on request for people with hearing difficulties and / or other forms of disability.

 

Early Interventions

Early intervention can be successful in stopping the anti-social behaviour by many perpetrators.  These interventions can establish clear standards of behaviour and reinforce the message that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and in many cases can be sufficient incentive for an individual to change their behaviour.

 

Anti-social Behaviour Police And Crime Act 2014

The new enforcement tools contained with the Anti-Social Crime and Policing Act 2014 are designed to allow the police, councils, registered social landlords and others to deal with problems quickly.  They will be used where early interventions have not had the desired affect and the behaviour persists.

For guidance on the tools & powers available click here.