Home > Taking Action > Your Confidentiality Rights if Reporting a Neighbour

Your Confidentiality Rights if Reporting a Neighbour

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 10 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Police Confidentiality Anti-social

Many people are often put off reporting a crime or any incidence of nuisance or anti-social behaviour for fear of the police or other authority not respecting their confidentiality, and the threat of reprisals.

Although there are laws in the UK which deal with a person’s rights with regards to privacy and confidentiality, when it comes to police matters, this all has to be weighed up in the context of the Data Protection Act, Human Rights Act and Freedom of Information Act, when you might be a witness to a serious crime and may be required to testify against an alleged offender in court.

General Guidelines

Most of the time, if you want to report a neighbour, it will usually be more appropriate to inform another organisation rather than the police. For example, this might be the Environmental Health Department of your local authority or your local housing association.

Whoever you wish to make a complaint to, they will generally be able to guarantee your confidentiality. In fact, local authorities, housing associations and the police are all keen to highlight their commitment to ensuring that any information they receive from the public will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

These authorities are well aware that a lack of confidentiality could prevent people from coming forward to offer them information that might be very useful in reducing crime and Anti-Social Behaviour.

Using Remote Third Parties

Because some people might be afraid to report a neighbour over a particular issue for fear of them being identified, there have been several initiatives introduced in the UK whereby a third-party agency can act as an intermediary or ‘conduit’ between you and which ever organisation you wish to notify.

Many people are simply too scared of what might happen if they walk into a police station to report something, or are worried about how it will be perceived by the rest of the neighbourhood if uniformed police officers or council officials turn up on their doorstep.

In these situations, the person reporting a complaint can do so formally, informally or even anonymously to the remote third party. They will take down all of the details from you then pass them on to the relevant authority to deal with directly so that, for example, you would not have any direct contact with the police. Alternatively, if you are worried about your confidentiality, you could always go out to a payphone and call an organisation such as ‘Crimestoppers’ anonymously.

Furthermore, all police forces and local authorities have websites these days so, unless there’s an imminent danger to safety, that might be another method you could choose to report an incident yet still maintain your confidentiality.

The important thing is to do something. The police, local authority or housing association would not want you to be wasting their time but, on the other hand, if you do encounter a serious problem which requires some kind of enforcement, it’s always far better to let the relevant authority know at the earliest opportunity before a particular problem starts to get out of hand.

Neighbourhoods can go from good to bad if left untended or if everybody turns a blind eye to criminal activity or anti-social or nuisance behaviour. So even if you report things anonymously, you can be assured that, in most cases, they will be investigated.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi I need advice a few years ago me and my partner complained to our housing about a neighbour that used our bike shed to turn into gym and let people have sex in, another neighbour also complained, but we again have had problem with him, someone else has complained about him from a different housing association to ours, As its in the same block, and he now thinks its us again but it isnt and now he threatened us obviously I stood up to him gave it all back but he scared my autistic 5 year old shouting etc, but the problem I'm coming to is I can't tell my housing because they told him who made the complaint last time, And basically want to know what I can do about the housing or someone within the organisation who breached confidentiality about us, many thanks.
James - 10-Jun-18 @ 11:17 PM
I have been reporting to the anti-social team for the last 4 years and I have not got anywhere. I live in a flat first floor their are 4 more flats in this block. I have a neighbor opposite me that is a drug user and has drug dealers coming in and out the flat all hours of the day an night, he also has dealers threaten him for payments and people who shot for him from outside when he doesn’t answer his door at times these people also constantly bang his door for a response which is disturbing my little baby who is now 5 months old I am terrified leaving my property I also have a neighbor who lives below who has mental issues when I complained last year the council offered him more support then me he Evan tried to force entering my property with a knife police was called but nothing was done. The anti-social team have told me I need to report all matters which I have done so but this has made matters worse for me. I am now suffering from depression being locked in my property all day an night I have had my doctor give me doctors letters in regards what is causing me and these have cost me £20 each time. My health visitor has also wrote to the council local Mp has wrote to the housing association and nothing has been done. What else can be done for me?
Skd - 4-Jun-18 @ 12:45 PM
Kerry - Your Question:
Hello my name is kerry. Today I put a bag of rubbish outside my door while I put my shoes on 10 mins or so? When I came out it had gone??? Ive now got a letter saying I was blocking escape routes when it was tucked away near my door also letter says they request me to attend a interview to sign an under taken. And if I dont attend faliure can result in further action being taken. I feel threatend!!!! They have taken a picture of my door that I am not happy about and the a4 bit of papet has been cut off to I dont see emails or who its from. Also only a tiny bit of bag can be seen. Am I allowed to ask who has reported me and can they tell me. Also ive not been given any pior letter to tell us they are taken pics of peoples door does this fall under invasion of privacy???

Our Response:
Just respond to the sender (we assume this is landlord) of the letter saying you left it there for 10 minutes while you put your shoes on and agree to attend the interview. At that time you could ask who reported you if it makes a difference.
ProblemNeighbours - 27-Apr-18 @ 11:43 AM
Hello my name is kerry. Today i put a bag of rubbish outside my door while i put my shoes on 10 mins or so? When i came out it had gone??? Ive now got a letter saying i was blocking escape routes when it was tucked away near my door also letter says they request me to attend a interview to sign an under taken . And if i dont attend faliure can result in further action being taken. I feel threatend!!!! They have taken a picture of my door that i am not happy about and the a4 bit of papet has been cut off to i dont see emails or who its from . Also only a tiny bit of bag can be seen. Am i allowed to ask who has reported me and can they tell me. Also ive not been given any pior letter to tell us they are taken pics of peoples door does this fall under invasion of privacy???
Kerry - 24-Apr-18 @ 5:44 PM
Someone is making false complaints about me I'm pretty sure I know who as happened over few years on anything they can not just house I could probably prove this now if council told me who recently complained about me for being anti social as if I know for sure it wasnt a neighbor in one of 4 places around me I know only one other person miles away who knows what my neighbor's could to make a false complaints and pass It off as them as I would now get police involved as they are actually family member and somehow knew alexactly who my meeting was with from housing officers first name but they rent private new his last name and would have absolutely no reason to know this person as never been in council housing or lived in same area to have that officer anyway I they did
Trentin - 23-Apr-18 @ 11:39 PM
Neighbor has moved boundary fence of housing Association house. (Not aloud to do this) I want to report it but I feel threatened by neighbour in the first place. What should I do?
Ghiop - 11-Apr-18 @ 6:59 PM
Sticks - Your Question:
I have the upper part of a two storey Maisonette and my living over looks both the upper & lower maisonette gardens my neighbour has built a rear extension which not only obscures the view of my garden but the height and the width of the build encroach on my property by 6 inches & 18inchesrespectively. 6inches & 18inches are built up on to my property ,Part of my air vent brick has been cemented over ,And now when I open my landing window I can touch the roof of the extension dispite an 18inch gap from window sil to skirting board The council approved the building plans despite being shown photographic evidence of the encroachment and member of the Councils Planning department visiting the property.any advice would I have case to go to court with ?

Our Response:
You would need to seek professional legal advice really. If the extension is built on your property, it's trespassing , to we hope it should be relatively straightfrorward. Has the building inspector passed it yet? Talk again to both builidng control and planning.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-Apr-18 @ 2:33 PM
I have the upper part of a two storey Maisonette and my living over looks both the upper & lower maisonette gardens my neighbour has built a rear extension which not only obscures the view of my garden but the height and the width of the build encroach on my property by 6 inches & 18inchesrespectively . 6inches & 18inches are built up on to my property ,Part of my air vent brick has been cemented over ,And now when i open my landing window i can touch the roof of the extension dispite an 18inch gap from window sil to skirting board The council approved the building plans despite being shown photographic evidence of the encroachment and member of the Councils Planning department visiting the property. any advice would i have case to go to court with ?
Sticks - 30-Mar-18 @ 3:23 PM
I own my flat but the adjoining property is rented out to local council tenants, the latest adjacent to me are noisy, inconsiderate, playing music, chanting, shouting and hoovering at all hours (literally) disturbing my sleep and relaxation every night. I have reported to Anti Social team over a month ago, who said they would come back to me and have not so I complained to the council complaints team, nothing. If your local Council won't help you, what am I meant to do?Where else can I go next?
Sparkles - 15-Mar-18 @ 4:47 PM
Someone falsely accused me of benefit fraud which even after a year of this happening has depressed me, this was proven wrong and case dismissed straight away. Is there any process I can find out who this person was?
Kriskriss - 8-Mar-18 @ 10:36 PM
Delc - Your Question:
We are constantly moving several dog poop bags. We believe belong to to the 1st house next yo the flats on sneyd hall road these neibours are constantly parking in the driveway which our access to parking.number 35a are constantly banging and have graffiti on walls which looks an eyesore.we have youths taking drugs in the communal areas urinating and spitting it's a disgrace

Our Response:
Contact your local PCSO and environmental health, they should be able to take action to help with this.
ProblemNeighbours - 19-Feb-18 @ 12:00 PM
We are constantly moving several dog poop bags. We believe belong to to the 1st house next yo the flats on sneyd hall road these neibours are constantly parking in the drivewaywhich our access to parking..number 35a are constantly banging and have graffiti on walls which looks an eyesore ..we have youths taking drugs in the communal areas urinating and spitting it's a disgrace
Delc - 18-Feb-18 @ 4:29 PM
Amanda- Your Question:
Hello, I live in a flat. My view from my balcony is over the neighbours garden. It is full of piled up rubbish, domestic waste and dog fecals. They simply never take out the bin for collection and don't recycle. My husband offer to help them to clean the garden and get rid of the rubbish but they said they will do it themselves. They haven't. I have already contacted the health and environmental agency, the council and the housing association several times. They send them a letter but nothing has changed. I am desperate to move away but can't sell my flat for the same reason.

Our Response:
Keep on with your complaints to the Housing Association and environmental health. They should do more than simply send letters, they have power to take further action, such as arranging for the garden to be cleared out and then re-charging the resident etc.
ProblemNeighbours - 26-Jan-18 @ 10:08 AM
Hello,I live in a flat. My view from my balcony is over the neighbours garden.It is full of piled up rubbish, domestic waste and dog fecals.They simply never take out the bin for collection and don't recycle. My husband offer to help them to clean the garden and get rid of the rubbish but they said they will do it themselves. They haven't. I have already contacted the health and environmental agency,the council and the housing association several times. They send them a letter but nothing has changed. I am desperate to move away but can't sell my flat for the same reason.
Amanda - 24-Jan-18 @ 8:31 AM
Hi id like advice about a headcase of a neighbor beside my mother's home my brother lives there as my mother passed away the neighbor is constantly harrissing him an threatening him knocking on the door shouting outside my mother owned the house so this headcase is trespassing on private property how can this one be thrown out of her house its filthy inside my brother is sick of this one can the council remove her in Dublin ireland thanks
Angel - 21-Jan-18 @ 2:37 AM
Sexylexy56 - Your Question:
My.neighbour seems to think it's acceptable to do her washing till 11am at night,she does not work,has a psych person.whom comes to visit.where do l stand in this,her and her partner are in out there front door all night to smoke sometimes it's after 12am at night,I'm sick of this also can hardly hear my tv at night as he is rather loud.

Our Response:
Excessive and regular noise after 11pm can be reported to environmental healthwho can investigate and have powers to take further action.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Jan-18 @ 12:52 PM
My.neighbour seems to think it's acceptable to do her washing till 11am at night,she does not work,has a psych person.whom comes to visit.where do l stand in this,her and her partner are in out there front door all night to smoke sometimes it's after 12am at night,I'm sick of this also can hardly hear my tv at night as he is rather loud.
Sexylexy56 - 8-Jan-18 @ 1:31 PM
Mamet - Your Question:
This environmental services is joke. It say that if you report anonymously in most case councils will investigate. This is no true, and is loose information with no definite help. I have live many area in UK, and in some area have see problems and other neighbors say they report problems but councils use any way they can to not bother do things about problems. I have say about man who let him dog foul all on street and in people front gardens and no on lead while he outside him house fixing cars to sell on Internet (no permission or proper thing in place for do this) him whole life overflow on to other people's life. (Many olds people's in this street). But council no interest in this. I have people's tell me in before that people they are complain about can find out who is say this about them to council. I know this true, it happen to me to. I wish I had job in environment place in council. Make all day hide behind rules so not have to bother help people. People who make problem for other already know what they can get away with do. So environmental office is waste of time. No one want to help. Is just made up job to make people's think someone do something.

Our Response:
Councils will not usually investigate anonymous complaints but they are usually willing to keep details of the complainant confidential.
ProblemNeighbours - 10-Nov-17 @ 12:35 PM
This environmental services is joke. It say that if you report anonymously in most case councils will investigate. This is no true, and is loose information with no definite help. I have live many area in UK, and in some area have see problems and other neighbors say they report problems but councils use any way they can to not bother do things about problems. I have say about man who let him dog foul all on street and in people front gardens and no on lead while he outside him house fixing cars to sell on Internet (no permission or proper thing in place for do this) him whole life overflow on to other people's life. (Many olds people's in this street). But council no interest in this. I have people's tell me in before that people they are complain about can find out who is say this about them to council. I know this true, it happen to me to. I wish I had job in environment place in council. Make all day hide behind rules so not have to bother help people. People who make problem for other already know what they can get away with do. So environmental office is waste of time. No one want to help. Is just made up job to make people's think someone do something.
Mamet - 8-Nov-17 @ 11:45 AM
Hi I am writing this letter with reference to my neighbours. Well not the couple just her. She's Always complaining about my dog, if he barks I bring him straight in. There is just no reasoning with her to the point now that she has left nasty letters, also her language and attitude is disgraceful. My main concern is last bonfire night They had fireworks directly in the entry where my garden fence ends. This caused so much distress to my dog and I know it was done deliberately. I mean there is a lot of entry and no animals in other houses. I am greatly concerned this is going to happen again and am starting to feel victimised. What can I do to stop this happening again this year as my dog needs to be able to access the back garden for toileting. Please advise.
Marlene - 24-Oct-17 @ 1:52 PM
Convinced my neighbour had reported me to the authorities as unfamiliar vehicles began parking along the road.We have had many spats in the past and now don't acknowledge one another, but I seem to be the guilty party.A lady visits the neighbour (victim support possibly) as she has only recently appeared since these occurrences. Nothing has been said or any written communications sent to me, but it all seems strangely worrying on my part and my stomach is churning constantly.My husband said it would be foolish for my neighbour to take that to Court and would be too expensive.The Police wouldn't bother with it and the Magistrate or Judge would throw it out.They would no doubt tell us both to go home, apologise, shake hands and grow up.Hope this is the case as we live directly opposite each other.
Toosey - 21-Oct-17 @ 8:18 PM
good afternoon sometimes I made a complaint from my neighbor the police I live in this house 4 years I never had problems this neighbor is living for a few months and he causes my children to mouth my dog ??and I already said that he kills my older children this week I went back to do complaint this situation is unbearable I'm afraid to live in this house he invokes even with my dryer machine that makes noise help me I'm afraid of living in this house I do not hold fast with my children I live on the street surbiton road number 40 he lives in number 42 eu I want him to stay away from my family, help me, thank you.
Vanda - 20-Oct-17 @ 6:54 PM
We live in a flat. We have some issues with the next door neighbour as they put really loud music during working days sometimes weekend especially at night times. The loud music distract me and family who has to wake up in the morning to get to work, school and college early in the morning. Can you take further action. Thank you.
Taj - 5-May-17 @ 10:42 PM
My neighbour is being evicted for antisocial behaviour. The court have granted the housing association, who owns the property, a Possession Order with a warrant attached. Unfortunately my house is connected to this neighbours. Myself and my Daughter have been through a year of sheer hell. I originally raised the issue with the housing association, kept diary sheets, had noise recording equipment etc. I was left a voicemail by the housing officer yesterday saying he couldnt tell me the exact date the warrant is to be executed.Is this correct? Many thanks.
Liz - 28-Jan-17 @ 9:18 AM
Hi, I reported a person who was putting his 4yr old childs life in danger. She was riding a illegal quad bike on the road while the father and family stood there watching. I called police and they arrived 30 mins later and missed them. The father was asked tho attend the police station and give an explanation. The inspector told him that I reported him and the father turned up at my door threatening to kill me as well as setting fire to my house. He was with 3 other mates as he is a gutless drug dealer who lives in a caravan outside on a drive in my culdisac. I'm not scared of him as he is scum of the earth. Was this right to put me in such danger?
Wtf - 5-Jan-17 @ 9:37 PM
neighbour last year died other neighbour draged out, people have died like flys down our street or been taken away. Local factories release toxic fumes so the neigjbours have cough fits to announce it whilst harassing you each day. Disturbing thing is new guy next door looks like am EBA agency actor, the other like my dead relative. They have been keeping tabs on my computer which has been reported to the police through out the year.IV BEEN HARASSED THROUGH MY PHONE AND LAPTOP, BEING WATCHED AND STALKED FORMONTHS THE FBI AND BRITISH POLICE ARE NOT HELPING MUCH.My family have noticied other neighbours participtaing in this, making reference to our past we think its a harassing film or media prodiction who has been stalking us for years. These creeps next door have been accesing all my phone and laptop activity, the lunatic behind this police, actors, gov or stalkers have crossed the line of oppressive control and sociopathic stalking , who ever has been behind this should be im jail. Lost two years gang stalking computer and phone HARASSMENT
wmdy - 30-Dec-16 @ 7:22 AM
Lil - Your Question:
If someone makes complaints against you and they are untrue, even though they are ringing up housing and making anonymous complaints, which could jeopardize your tenancy is there any legal way of taking this further - ie court and making them present the said complainant to get things sorted out? or are they just left to ring up and complain to their hearts content?

Our Response:
You can make a complaint about their behaviour if it has some foundation. The best thing to do is to see a solicitor (some have the first half hour session free) or Citizens' Advice.
ProblemNeighbours - 24-Nov-16 @ 2:21 PM
If someone makes complaints against you and they are untrue, even though they are ringing up housing and making anonymous complaints, which could jeopardize your tenancy is there any legal way of taking this further - ie court and making them present the said complainant to get things sorted out? or are they just left to ring up and complain to their hearts content?
Lil - 23-Nov-16 @ 8:30 PM
I am infesteded with bed bugs due to the flat above me,they got sprayed up and my flat has been left to get seriously worse, I urged someone to do something about this ,as I am now getting delirious as me and my 6 year old boy are being bitten al night as a result we are not sleeping, I have lived in this property for 5 years ,and there has been 2 floods a burglary and all sorts of drugs in the block it is scum the blockI mean. I have a nervous disability, and no one is giving me any support . Please help me as I can't take no more. My housing association is doing nothing about this matter. They are actually bullying me can't take nomore I am on the verge.
Gg - 26-Oct-16 @ 1:10 PM
Pat - Your Question:
I have my neighbours are married couple at first the man used to be like my friend we used to talk until he start getting different thoughts and he told me if I have time we can go out then I told him that if am ready I will let you know but from that day I tried to limit my self from him because even his wife I used to greet her but sometime she didn't reply till I stopped. The problem now I am facing both of them whenever their coming in or going out they bang their house door and it make the whole house to vibrate. and what makes me angry even at night they didn't bother whether other people are sleeping or not.one day I spoke to house taker to speak to them they stop for few days and continue and the problem I have whenever they bang their door heavily my heart was racing and cant go back to sleep, getting headache and worried and I don't know what to do a bit confused, scared to talk to them I really need a help. What can I do

Our Response:
Your landlord should be able to help if this is such a problem. Are there any measures that the landlord could take to minimise the noise from the doors closing perhaps? Unless this occurs very late into the night/early mornings, it's unlikely that enviromental health would be able to help.
ProblemNeighbours - 27-Sep-16 @ 11:03 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments