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Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 3 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Dealing With Anti-social Behaviour

Anti-social behaviour can blight any neighbourhood. It can be destructive, demoralising and even dangerous. It is not restricted to youths, as many adults can also be responsible for causing a problem. Whether it’s Causing Noise Pollution, verbal abuse or harassment, a failure to control their pets, or using their home to supply drugs, there are many instances which would fall under the definition of anti-social behaviour. There are, however, certain things you can do to try to tackle the problem.

Keeping Records

In order for the police and other relevant authorities to take any action with regards to anti-social behaviour in your neighbourhood, it’s important that you are able to give them as much information as possible. Keep a record of when, where and who is involved with the anti-social activity, writing down as many details as you can.

If you have access to a digital camera or camcorder, so much the better, but ensure that you use these kinds of devices covertly and preferably within the confines of your own home. If a person thinks they are being monitored, it will either result in them curtailing their behaviour for a time, until they think they’re not being watched again, or it can actually result in them confronting you, which could be very dangerous. However, the more information you can provide, the easier it will be for the authorities to proceed with any further action where necessary.

Tackling The Problem Yourself

If you feel that the anti-social behaviour in question is something that is relatively minor that you could deal with yourself, it’s often easier to go and speak to the person involved. It might simply be a neighbour who’s burning rubbish which is giving off dark smoke, or there are young children who are constantly kicking a football onto your property, and you may wish to speak to them or their parents about it.

Often, some people who are responsible for anti-social behaviour are not even aware of that they’re causing a nuisance, so a friendly, polite chat will usually resolve the problem. However, you should only tackle them directly if you’re certain that you’re not putting yourself at any risk. Confronting Teenage Gangs or people who have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs are best left to the police and other relevant authorities to deal with.

What the Police and Others can do

The police and other relevant organisations, such as your local authority, council or housing association, will often work together in tackling some of the issues surrounding anti-social behaviour. Initially, unless a problem threatens to get immediately out of hand, they will usually adopt a ‘softly softly’ approach and have a word with the offenders to try to help them understand the consequences of their actions, and discourage any subsequent repeat of the behaviour in question.

However, if this doesn’t work then, under numerous laws, they can take more formal action which, depending upon the behaviour, might include getting offenders to sign up to acceptable behaviour contracts or they can even issue a Group Dispersal Order.

If all efforts fail to resolve the situation, however, the police will arrest the perpetrators and court action will follow. This could result in measures being taken, such as issuing Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and Drug House Closures, if appropriate. And, in cases where even these measures fail to control the behaviour, the perpetrators can be given custodial sentences.

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I have been having problems with my next door neighbour for almost 3 years. He is 25 years old. He bought the property to renovate. I believe his early intention was to rent his home out. I live with my son who is autistic and has oversensitive hearing. Certain noises cause him pain and distress. My daughter, who also lives at the property, is very poorly with ME/ Chronic Fatigue. Obviously my neighbour had to commence with the renovations. However these went on for two years, from morning until late night. It was horrendous for all the family. I did politely approach my neighbour, asking that he finished his renovations earlier in the evening and turned down is blaring music. He swore at me, so I retreated. Since the work has been completed, my neighbour has parties. His most recent one started at 6.30pm and went on until 3.30am. Not content with that, they also deliberately came into their bedroom next to my autistic son and start screaming, shouting and making noise they know will upset him.mthis isn't the first time they have targeted my son. At this most recent party , they put music on full blast every five minutes before Turning it down. This pattern continued for well over thirty minutes. We knew it was deliberate to annoy us. We stayed silent, hoping they would tire of doing that. They park their car across my drive, blocking us in, whenever they feel like it. I have not spoken to my neighbour since he swore at me. I have contacted my local Council as I am worried about the health and welfare of my family. TheCouncil did speak to him but I felt interrogated by them and it has made no difference to my neighbours behaviour. I now feel abandoned by the Council, I'm not sure they understand the seriousness of the intimidation etc that we endure. If the Council don't support you, I'm at a loss as what to do now. We are not financially in a position to move house at the moment.
Louiza - 23-Nov-16 @ 11:39 AM
CCTV installed on houses pointing at neighbours now has to comply with the Data protection Act 1998 following a European ruling. Where a camera can see your doors/windows the person operating has to comply with the code of practice and register the system with the Information Commissioner. Domestic CCTV is no longer exempt from the DP Act as before. Police are very poorly informed of legal updates and it is unlikely they will be aware of the updates, and so give incorrect advice.
cameraman - 26-Jul-16 @ 4:03 PM
I have been working as a professional dominatrix for months, till neighbour found out what I do for a living.They gone around and showed explicit images to all the other neighbours including OAP neighbours intimidating them.I have been doing this for many years and most discreet and private. They now starting to approach my friends and clients in the street saying things to them, causing them to feel threatened and intimidated. The woman stood at my gate and stared at me and client who just pulled up I had to ask him to leave. Police has been informed.I feel very depressed and its affecting my mental health so badly. What can i do with the help of the police
LR - 9-Jun-16 @ 12:42 PM
harrassed neigbour - Your Question:
I live in a block of flats my neighbour pushes me each time it passes me on the stairwell, I made a complaint about it to the housing body, they turned it around and said I pushed them. I suffer from racist abuse from them also, because they do not do it in front of anyone police say they cannot do anything. They then went and installed CCTV it shows me and my children each time we enter or leave the property, it is very intrusive and making me ill, I have to pass it each day as it is the only way I can leave the property and I live above them. the housing say they happy with it. I have stopped taking my children to school as a result as I do not want them recorded especially since I do not know what they are doing with the recordings, is there anything I can do. These people are not approachable so there is no point in me asking them to remove it.

Our Response:
You should not stop taking your children to school because of this. If you feel the CCTV is a breach of privacy you can ask your local police to take a look at our guide here.
ProblemNeighbours - 16-May-16 @ 10:15 AM
I live in a block of flats my neighbour pushes me each time it passes me on the stairwell, I made a complaint about it to the housing body, they turned it around and said I pushed them.I suffer from racist abuse from them also, because they do not do it in front of anyone police say they cannot do anything. They then went and installed CCTV it shows me and my children each time we enter or leave the property, it is very intrusive and making me ill, I have to pass it each day as it is the only way I can leave the property and I live above them.the housing say they happy with it.I have stopped taking my children to school as a result as I do not want them recorded especially since I do not know what they are doing with the recordings, is there anything I can do.These people are not approachable so there is no point in me asking them to remove it.
harrassed neigbour - 13-May-16 @ 6:10 AM
Klassy - Your Question:
For over year my neighbour has made my life hell loud music till 2/3am kicking ball round house environmental health say take them to court can anyone give me advice I'm ill can't sleep I'm 60yrs old thank you

Our Response:
What have the police said. Are they on your property? Or out in the road?
ProblemNeighbours - 15-Feb-16 @ 11:34 AM
For over year my neighbour has made my life hell loud music till 2/3am kicking ball round house environmental health say take them to court can anyone give me advice I'm ill can't sleep I'm 60yrs old thank you
Klassy - 14-Feb-16 @ 12:30 AM
Yes ; I have a neighbore like no one else . This an old woman , living on one floor over . She got to be a witch ; as I know the signs .She make all the noise from. 12:00 to 3:00 to 6:00 to 9:00 to 12:00 again ...she living on the Clock. She does it a few minutes before or after. Just having an scheduled as she does it , is ceremonial. I heard like havy ball popping her floor. I cannot dream , so important for mental health. What should be done ? I had trying even prayer to the Lord of Host. . . Nothing , she become more aggressive.??
n/a - 22-Jan-16 @ 2:36 PM
DD - Your Question:
Hi I am looking for some advice. My neighbour started to rent out their property and the new tenant seemed very polite to start with, but was very new to the area so I tried my best to make them feel welcome over the festive period last year taking them xmas dinner, presents as they were working and their family lived in another country. This person is of the opposite sex to me and when drunk one night was banging on my door at 1 in the morning, making suggestive comments. We also operated a policy with the litter bins that we all took turns in taking out the bins. I did not feel he was taking his turns and when I asked him about it he said it was because he worked all the time. I moved in to my parents for a bit to look after a relative and when I returned there was litter and cigarette ends blocking one of the drains. He admitted that it was a friend who was staying with him, but that it wasn't all his fault. I tidied up the litter strewn around the garden area and the cigarette ends, but 6 months on the same thing has happened. There is takeaway boxes in our blue, black and green bins, all full to the brim again when I tried to convey my annoyance at this he said that things would change as he was on holiday and he would help out. A week later, still no help and there is again litter strewn about the garden, with no sign of it moving. I asked him to clean up but he states that he is not the only one who has takeaways and that I am singling him out. There have been other complaints from the neighbours about the excessive noise. I have contacted the landlord and she has had a word but that was before our last conflict which he admitted she had spoke to him and she was OK with the situation once he had explained to her about the rubbish and noise. Every time I ask him to help out and play his part I get a different excuse. I know she has not been happy either as a landlord as he has missed rent payments and not kept the flat clean, but I think her hands are tied as he is in a contract. I would like some advice on what the next steps are. I have tried talking to him, reasoning with him and so has his landlord.

Our Response:
This is really for the landlord to handle. If your neighbour is in rent arrears and is in breach of his tenancy agreement by failing to keep his flat clean, the landlord will have plenty of power to act. You could try making a complaint about the mess/rubbish to your local environmental health officer who may be able to help.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Dec-15 @ 9:46 AM
Hi I am looking for some advice. My neighbour started to rent out their property and the new tenant seemed very polite to start with, but was very new to the area so I tried my best to make them feel welcome over the festive period last year taking them xmas dinner, presents as they were working and their family lived in another country. This person is of the opposite sex to me and when drunk one night was banging on my door at 1 in the morning, making suggestive comments. We also operated a policy with the litter bins that we all took turns in taking out the bins. I did not feel he was taking his turns and when I asked him about it he said it was because he worked all the time. I moved in to my parents for a bit to look after a relative and when I returned there was litter and cigarette ends blocking one of the drains. He admitted that it was a friend who was staying with him, but that it wasn't all his fault. I tidied up the litter strewn around the garden area and the cigarette ends, but 6 months on the same thing has happened. There is takeaway boxes in our blue, black and green bins, all full to the brim again when I tried to convey my annoyance at this he said that things would change as he was on holiday and he would help out. A week later, still no help and there is again litter strewn about the garden, with no sign of it moving. I asked him to clean up but he states that he is not the only one who has takeaways and that I am singling him out. There have been other complaints from the neighbours about the excessive noise. I have contacted the landlord and she has had a word but that was before our last conflict which he admitted she had spoke to him and she was OK with the situation once he had explained to her about the rubbish and noise. Every time I ask him to help out and play his part I get a different excuse. I know she has not been happy either as a landlord as he has missed rent payments and not kept the flat clean, but I think her hands are tied as he is in a contract. I would like some advice on what the next steps are. I have tried talking to him, reasoning with him and so has his landlord.
DD - 7-Dec-15 @ 12:32 AM
wleon - Your Question:
For quite some time the area in which my elderly mother lives has been plagued by a gang of teenage kids (or feral rats as I call them). They are constantly throwing stones at peoples windows and at cars too. The police say they cannot do anything - even though they have seen this gang on CCTV - as their numbers (they say) are stretched). I, myself, have had stones thrown at me by this same gang. What I am scared about is if my mother and/or her house is targetted. I am afraid that if that happens I and my brother would do time, as we would not then be responsible for my own actions against these feral thugs. So if the police know who this gang are, but say they cannot do anything because their numbers are stretched, what do we do? This gang, as I have said, have been reported to the police before with no action taken by them.

Our Response:
If the problem relates to a particular area, it may be worth approaching other organisations we well as the police. Your local council and other community groups might be able to do something. Contact your local councillor first.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Oct-15 @ 10:17 AM
For quite some time the area in which my elderly mother lives has been plagued by a gang of teenage kids (or feral rats as I call them). They are constantly throwing stones at peoples windows and at cars too. The police say they cannot do anything - even though they have seen this gang on CCTV - as their numbers (they say) are stretched). I, myself, have had stones thrown at me by this same gang. What I am scared about is if my mother and/or her house is targetted. I am afraid that if that happens I and my brother would do time,as we would not then be responsible for my own actions against these feral thugs. So if the police know who this gang are, but say they cannot do anything because their numbers are stretched, what do we do? This gang, as I have said, have been reported to the police before with no action taken by them.
wleon - 29-Oct-15 @ 7:20 AM
Hi I'm hoping someone can give me some advice, I live in flat with a shared backyard and my neighbours are refusing to clean up after their dogs, we have different landlords and I've reported them to theirs and my own and also environmental health but there has been no change at all, they are completely denying they even have any dogs at all. this problem has been going on for some time and as my bedroom backs on to the backyard I can't even open the window due to the flies and smell! I have my own dog and know how easy it is to clean up after him. Can I put a security camera up to catch them in the act? I'd really appreciate any advice as this problem is making my life a little unbearable
justme8472 - 26-Aug-15 @ 11:21 AM
@AFRAID. What an unpleasant neighbour. Is he doing these things intentionally? You should speak to your local community police officer.
ProblemNeighbours - 9-Apr-15 @ 2:27 PM
My neighbour who has their own drive gated off like ours parks halfway between his and halfway between ours.In the 4 years we have lived here we have never been able to park on our own drive because of this.He also jet-washed his drive inthe 6 week summer holiday every day for the 6 weeks from 9am - 6pm washing the debris down onto our drive.My husband painted the wall at Easter, while he was sitting on the paint sheet painting the bottom of the wall the neighbour got a garden blower out and stood the other side and blew sand all over the paintwork directly into my husbands face and eyes.He had to go to A&E to have his eyes washed out.My husband is 70 years old with high blood pressure and is constantly bullied by this big obsese man.We are at our wits end!
AFRAID - 8-Apr-15 @ 10:36 PM
@Lmj. If you feel the Environmental health officer has not acted according to his/her duties, ask to speak to the head of the department and get them to record something in writing for you to explain what action they can take and when in situations like yours.
ProblemNeighbours - 17-Mar-15 @ 10:55 AM
@problemneighbours Environmental health claimed they had not received last couple of reports of noise, then could only report 'half' the noise as noise from the inside is only reported. So slamming the communal door is not their department, neither is the drug smoking. They said they would send a letter to neighbours stating that a complaint had been made and they must contact environmental health but they must have had loads of these!? Then said she was worried about confrontation that might happen and urged me to leave it! Said they were not the worst she heard of and if I was so anxious and scared of them, by composing would be putting myself in a worse situation! I can't win
Lmj - 13-Mar-15 @ 11:10 PM
@Lmj. You have not said what action the Environmental Health Officer took?
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Mar-15 @ 12:01 PM
We have been in our council property for around 18 months and it's been a nightmare from the first week. Our neighbours are loud rude and anti social. We complain but the worst thing is that it never stops them! We have recently complained about noise to environmental health and now they have become louder! They have a constant stream of people in and out so doors are always slamming. Her brother in particular slams the door so hard late at night it shakes the building and wakes my kids up! Since living here I'm on antidepressants and sleep meds. I'm a nervous wreck, I've told my doctor Id rather die than live here. I'm hoping to move or transfer but it's so hard. My neighbours also smoke drugs police and local authorities do nothing! I have to suffer while these vile people can make lives hell.
Lmj - 10-Mar-15 @ 11:03 PM
@jimbo, The Environmental health office should at least investigate your complaint about the noise. They will establish whether this is excessive and if so, they can serve a noise abatement notice on your neighbour. If your neighbours are threatening your (certainly grabbing your bike whilst you're holding it - would be considered threatening), then the police should act.
ProblemNeighbours - 6-Jan-15 @ 12:33 PM
We have been suffering noise and threatening from our neighbours about there music we have informed police who won't du anything the council won't move us or do something about it till worse things happen like me gettin beaten up. Our landlords are dragging there feet about it we have had pco ound and says we ave to deal with it. Our daughter who is 4 she wakes up screaming she had a nightmares and won't walk up stairs on her own. She has restless nights and days soon as music goes on she screams the house down. We are the only 2 houses together on our street. Nobody seems to be doin anything 2 help. We are afraid to go out and do things. Next door has grabbed my bike when I got home from work 1 night . Next door has a very violent temper and a short fuse. Wot else can we do.
jimbo - 2-Jan-15 @ 5:14 PM
Ineed help please withnieghbours. they keep haress me. and I am getting very frigthened and feel sick. the keep doing things. to make me look stupidlike looking behind and looking down.
no - 8-May-14 @ 5:03 PM
I'm having problems with the lad next door as his parents have emigrated to Canada, parties are becoming more regular, he's a very angry boy and you just can't talk to him, he becomes very abusive and intimadating, more and more of his friends are hanging around outside the property, drinking, smoking drugs and i'm pretty sure there selling them, i have rang the police on a few occasions but i've been told that they can't attend unless the people are on the street and because there in the garden there's nothing they can do, Any advice would be welcome.
J - 26-Jul-13 @ 12:02 PM
I need to look into my legal rights first. It all centres with these people coming onto my property and into my garden. My next-door neighour (who is notoriously awkward) uses the drive, and insists it's shared. It's not shared with the bullies, but she's told them she 'doesn't mind' them using it, which they've translated as being invited in. As far as I know, it's not shared - even with the next-door neighbour, but until I've got a solicitor to look into the deeds and clarify my rights, I can't go to the police and expect them to act when they don't know who is or isn't allowed in my garden. Even if it was a shared drive, I don't think the next door neighbour would have any right to invite anybody in, who I didn't want, but I still need to talk it all through with someone and find out the details.
What-to-do - 22-Apr-13 @ 11:41 AM
Is there such a thing as a solicitor who specialises in bullying? I've been trying to find some legal help to deal with a family of bullying neighbours, but can't find a solicitor willing to help. Most don't reply to any messages I leave and one even fixed an appointment two weeks ahead, but then cancelled it the day before, saying they 'don't deal with harassment'. I only want some advice, so that I know what my rights are - and what options would be open to me. I thought it would be a simple matter, but now I'm wondering if it's best not to bother? The bullying is escalating, the longer it's allowed to go on, so I need to do something, but don't know where to turn......
What-to-do - 22-Apr-13 @ 11:35 AM
If you can deal with it quietly yourself, by talking to the neighbours, fine. If not, then inform the police and keep informing them every time there’s a problem. They’re supposed to follow up but as we all know from news stories, they often don’t. Keep records as you might need them in court at a later date.
Art - 27-Sep-12 @ 1:45 PM
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