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Anti-social behaviour (ASB)

Introduction to anti-social behaviour (ASB)

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can be a real issue for some communities.
The Crime and Disorder Act (1998) defines ASB as behaving in a manner that ‘caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress to one or more persons not of the same household. Recognising the impact of the behaviour on the victims and the community, as well as looking at the risk factors that cause such behaviour, is key to tackling the problems.
  • Harassment/ Intimidation
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Criminal Damage
  • Graffiti and vandalism
  • Noise nuisance
  • Substance misuse
  • Assault
  • Vehicle related nuisance
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  • Children playing in the street or communal areas
  • Young people gathering socially - unless they are being intimidating to individuals.
  • Being unable to park outside your own home
  • DIY and car repairs- unless these are taking place late at night
  • Civil disputes between neighbours e.g. shared driveways.
  • One-off complaints of noise nuisance e.g. one-off parties.

There are a number of tools and powers available to tackle anti-social behaviour: These include:

  • Warning letters to perpetrators of anti-social behaviour
  • Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC) - A voluntary agreement between a person, the council and/or the police. The person agrees to stop the anti-social behaviour; in return a support package can be tailored to the individuals needs.
  • Anti-social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) - these orders place certain restrictions on a person. If the conditions are not complied with, the person can be prosecuted by law.
  • Dispersal orders – where the police can move people on in groups of more than two, acting in an anti-social manner.

Wiltshire Council aims to work with Partners to put sustainable solutions in place, to prevent anti-social behaviour from happening in the first place. Following this the council will support individuals and groups to change their behaviour. We only use enforcement as a final measure.

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The Crime and Disorder act (1998) changed the approach to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour by being give a statutory duty to act.
The council started to work in partnership with other organisations to reduce crime and disorder.
Following a revision of the act, it states that the council should consider the implications of crime and disorder and anti-social behaviour, in every duty.
Wiltshire Council’s anti-social behaviour team is committed to tackling the cause and effects of this type of behaviour and are working to deal with anti-social behaviour and the issues that cause it.

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Wiltshire’s anti-social behaviour team works in partnership with a whole host of other organisations, to tackle anti-social behaviour.
These include:

  • Wiltshire Police and Neighbourhood Policing Teams
  • Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Wiltshire Probation
  • Wiltshire NHS
  • Crown Prosecution Service and voluntary sector services
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We have a small team of community safety professionals dedicated to tackling community safety issues, plus those dedicated in tackling anti-social behaviour.
The officers work with a number of services across the council including:

  • Environmental Services
  • Services for Young People
  • Department of Children and Families
  • Education and Community Development

The main role of the anti-social behaviour team is to coordinate a response to anti-social behaviour, by using their problem solving skills and their extensive knowledge of services to ensure every organisation that can provide solutions is involved.

In Wiltshire we have a proven track record on our dedication to tackling anti-social behaviour. We have monthly anti-social behaviour Panels, attended by a range of agencies, which deal with a number of cases. As a result 71 acceptable behaviour contracts have been issued. Much anti-social behaviour is reduced or eradicated by providing a range of solutions to the problem.

Find out what it is and who can help by downloading our anti-social behaviour leaflet in the download section.

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Before you report an incident of anti-social behaviour it helps if you have as much information as possible to give to those who may be able to resolve the situation.
To help:

  • You can download a log sheet from the download section and record any information relating to a person or persons whose behaviour is causing you alarm, harassment or distress

This may include a specific incident such as when:

  • Abusive language is used
  • loud music is constantly being played
  • When people are causing a nuisance
  • It is also useful to include how the incident made you feel.

Anti-social behaviour can be dealt with by different organisations depending on the nature of your report.
Please refer to the Who to contact for help page for more information.

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The powers are designed to reduce anti-social behaviour problems in defined areas.
They do not prevent people entering an area, but do allow the police and police community support officers (PCSOs) to take action to disperse groups of two or more, if they believe that their presence or behaviour has resulted, or is likely to result, in any member of the community being harassed, intimidated, alarmed or distressed. Individuals can be directed to leave the locality and may be excluded from the area for up to 24 hours.

The police can also return young people under 16 home, who were out on the streets and not under the control of an adult, after 9pm if they are either: At risk or vulnerable from anti-social behaviour, crime etc; or causing, or at risk of causing, anti-social behaviour.

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Community triggers

The Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 includes new measures which are designed to give victims and communities more of a say in the way anti-social behaviour is dealt with. One of these is called the community trigger. This can only be used when someone has already reported the anti-social behaviour that they are experiencing, feel that the response has been inadequate and want a review of their case.

The community trigger review will involve everyone who has a responsibility to help solve anti-social behaviour problems. They will meet together, even if they have already done so, to look again at the case and try to find a solution.

Please note it should not be used as a replacement for agencies existing complaints procedures or to make a complaint against an individual officer or agency.

The community trigger review will involve everyone who has a responsibility to help solve anti-social behaviour problems. They will meet together, even if they have already done so, to look again at the case and try to find a solution.

Before a review can take place, organisations will need to share all the information they have about the case to help decide whether the request meets the thresholds. They will also consider the impact of all the incidents and the harm or potential harm caused to the victim/s or/and the community.

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It can be used by:

  • A victim of anti-social behaviour
  • Someone can apply on their behalf, as long as they have written permission from that person

A victim can be:

  • An individual
  • A business
  • A community group

Before applying, you need to know if your case is likely to be eligible. Every county in the country has decided what its local thresholds should be. In Wiltshire and Swindon the threshold is as follows:

  • You have reported three separate incidents relating to the same anti-social behaviour problem in the past six months to the council, police or your registered provider of social housing

or

  • You reported one incident of anti-social behaviour motivated by hate. This means you were targeted due to your race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity in the last six months

or

  • At least five people from different addresses have made reports about the same anti-social behaviour problem in the past six months, to the council, police or your registered provider of social housing
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  • All three anti-social behaviour incidents must have been reported within one month of the incident taking place
  • Where the same incident has been reported to more than one agency this is classed as one incident
  • If you have an ongoing ASB incident that is being dealt with, your case is not appropriate for the community trigger
  • Anonymous reports do not meet the community trigger threshold as in order for the tool to be effective the panel must review all the details reported i.e. the organisation it was reported to, the name of the employee spoken to, the incident reference number(s) and information about the incidents reported and by whom
  • Applicants must be Wiltshire residents and have reported the anti-social behaviour to agencies within Wiltshire
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If you feel that your case meets the thresholds then you will need to give details of your case by:

The referral form is available on the websites of all agencies that are responsible for anti-social behaviour; these include Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire council, Swindon Borough council, Clinical Commissioning Groups and registered providers of social housing. However, only one form should be completed as they are all dealt with centrally. If you have a query regarding the community trigger you can email communitytrigger@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 0300 456 0100.

Or you can write to us:

Community trigger referral
Public Protection Team, Community Safety
County Hall
Bythesea Road 
Trowbridge
Wiltshire
BA14 8JN

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One person will be made your single point of contact (SPOC). This person will be responsible for acknowledging your referral request within two working days. You will then be informed if your request has reached the threshold within a further five working days of acknowledging your completed community trigger referral form.

If your application is successful, they will keep you up-to-date about what is happening and any decisions that have been made, within an agreed time scale.

The SPOC will arrange a review of your case, which will include all the agencies involved. They will need to share all the information they have about your case, review what action has already been taken and decide whether anything more can be done and if so, what. If there is an action plan, your SPOC will discuss this with you.

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If you want to report an issue or concern about anti-social behaviour, you can do this by:

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Reporting Anti social behaviour (ASB)

This form has been designed to help reporting of anti-social behaviour problems that you are experiencing or have witnessed and it would be helpful if you could provide as much information as possible.

The information you provide may be shared within the Council and with our partners (under section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act) but will be kept confidential at all times according to the Data Protection Act.

Wiltshire Council takes reports of anti-social behaviour seriously and aims to ensure that Wiltshire is one of the safest counties.

If your problem is regarding criminal damage or theft please report it to Wiltshire Police.

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Use this form to report anti-social behaviour

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Last updated: 15 May 2017 | Last reviewed: 15 May 2017