Community Safety and Antisocial Behaviour
Concerns for safety
If you are concerned that you or another person are in immediate harm or danger, please call 999. You can also call the non-emergency number on 101 to raise concerns.
If you are concerned about the welfare of an adult or a child, you can:
- Raise your concerns with us here
- Contact your Local Authority responsible for safeguarding adults and children
- Call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.
Report domestic abuse by calling 999 if you think that you or another person are in danger.
You can also call us if are experiencing domestic abuse. We will be able to talk with you about your options.
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline offer free and confidential advice, 24-hours a day. Tel: 0808 2000 247.
If you are concerned for the safety or welfare of an animal, please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 555, or visit their website for further information.
What is antisocial behaviour?
Antisocial behaviour, or ASB, can take many forms and has a negative effect on the quality of life for individuals and the community.
ASB can be anything from low-level nuisance to serious criminal behaviour and includes things like:
- Noise nuisance, such as loud parties, loud TVs and radios
- Verbal abuse (shouting, arguing and swearing)
- Environmental issues, such as overfilling bins, dumping rubbish illegally, abandoned vehicles, damaging property and graffiti
- Drugs and alcohol related behaviour
- Intimidation and harassment such as threatening behaviour, verbal abuse
- Violent or physical attacks
- ‘Hate’ behaviour, directed against members of particular groups because of differences (for example, race or religion).
How should I deal with antisocial behaviour?
Where possible, it is important that residents try and resolve issues themselves. Where issues cannot be resolved, we will provide support.
In some cases, your neighbour might not be aware that what they are doing is causing a nuisance to you. It is possible that the issues you are experiencing can be resolved quickly by communicating well with your neighbour.
Here are some ways in which you can deal with the situation
- Try to approach them in a calm and polite way explaining how their actions or behaviours are making you feel. You can use words like “when you do …….., it makes me feel …….” this way they know what impact it is having on you and it may help them to see it from your point of view. It may be useful to approach your neighbour in a way that you would want to be spoken to yourself, so as not to cause offence and possibly make matters worse.
- Keep a record of any incidents that occur, including dates and times and anyone involved. This will help us to see what the problems are and may be useful as evidence, should we need to take further action.
- If you are unable to speak to your neighbour, or you have been unable to communicate your feelings, you can contact us for support and advice.
- We may ask you and your neighbour to consider mediation. This is using an independent person to work with you both to find a solution. This is a very good way of allowing you both to understand the impact of certain behaviours on one another, and then make an agreement moving forward.
- If the issues continue, we will talk you through the next stage as there are several options available to us.
You can report anti-social behaviour using our online form
In cases where a serious or criminal incident has occurred, you should contact the Police. They can be contacted on the following numbers:
101 for non-emergencies;
999 for use in an emergency.
What won't we usually investigate?
- A one-off event – unless it involves an element of crime or abuse that has also been reported to the appropriate agency such as the police
- Everyday living noise and use of a property (lights being switched on or off, footsteps, cooking odours, doors closing and opening, use of household appliances, babies crying, people talking, low-level sound from TV/radio)
Noise is the type of nuisance most often reported to us. Although noise can be a real nuisance to people, it isn’t always anti-social behaviour.
Before taking any action, we’ll decide if the noise is unreasonable, based on several factors including:
- If the noise is being made deliberately
- The duration, frequency, and intensity of the noise
- What time it occurs (is the noise happening late at night or very early in the morning, rather than mid afternoon)
- If it is a one-off or continuing problem.
Living near your neighbours means you are more likely to hear them from time to time. It is important for everyone to show respect and tolerance towards each other, so there is a reduced chance of nuisance for everyone. Noise from things like children playing, occasional arguing, babies crying, dogs barking, gardening or DIY are not usually considered anti-social behaviour and neighbours are expected to accept this type of noise as part of everyday living.
If you feel that the noise is excessive and at unreasonable hours, and you have tried to speak to your neighbour, please contact us to discuss your concerns. You can also contact your Local Council and their Noise Nuisance team. Their details can be found by visiting www.gov.uk/report-noise-pollution-to-council. Our legal powers are different to that of other authorities, and so we often work closely with Local Councils when dealing with noise nuisance cases.
It is very useful to keep a note or diary of what date and time the noise occurs and how it impacts you. This might be useful if the noise continues, and we need to take more formal action.
Noise nuisance can take time to resolve, and so it is important that you continue to communicate with us should the issues not improve.
What can I do about children playing outside my home?
Young people playing can become a source of disturbance and frustration for others and can cause friction in neighbourhoods. We often receive complaints about children playing on scooters, bicycles and ball games in public places including the roads.
While children have a right to play, this should not impact on the peaceful enjoyment of others in their own home. Everyone should feel that their property is safe and that they are being treated with respect.
Playing outside does not in and-of-itself constitute anti-social behaviour. It is more about the way is conducted that may cause a problem. The key is to find a compromise that satisfies everyone, and ensures the safety of children and residents alike.
Tips for parents/care givers:
- Respect other residents' right to a safe and peaceful environment
- Keep the noise down and scooters/bicycles off other residents’ properties
- Don’t use foul or abusive language
- Be aware of your own safety and the safety of other road users
- Always know where your children are playing and make sure you know what they are doing
- Compromise, talk and agree with your neighbours on a time and place for games to take place.
Tips for residents:
- The use of scooters or bicycles, of itself, is not anti-social behaviour
- Respect is best demonstrated when it goes both ways. Be aware of young people’s right to play in their own neighbourhood
- Within reason, expect some noise from children playing after school, at the weekend and in the evening
- Compromise, talk and agree with your neighbours on a time and place for games to take place.
Action we can take
We will take a neutral, and balanced view on the issue of children playing and expect residents to work together to find a compromise. Where we have concerns about the unreasonable behaviour of children playing or causing nuisance, we may use our powers to intervene.
You should feel safe in your own home. Where you are fearful, or you are concerned about a neighbour or friend, please contact us so that we are able to discuss these concerns with you.
There are different types of abuse including physical, psychological, financial, sexual, domestic, verbal, neglect and racial.
What should you do if yourself or someone you know is being abused?
If you are in immediate danger and your life is threatened, a crime is in progress or people are injured you should dial 999.
Further support is available from these organisations:
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
- Crime Stoppers 0800 555 111 - reporting a crime anonymously.
- report-it.org.uk – reporting hate crime
- Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Helpline: www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk/
- DAVSS (Domestic Abuse Voluntary Support Services): www.davss.org.uk/
- Victim support: 08 08 16 89 111: www.victimsupport.org.uk
- Galop: https://galop.org.uk/
- Childline: 0800 1111
- If you’re a man experiencing domestic abuse or violence you can call 0808 8010327.
If you’re worried about a child, even if you’re unsure, you can speak to NSPCC about your concerns. Whether you want to report child abuse and neglect or aren’t sure what to do, they’re there to listen, offer advice and support and can take the next steps if a child is in danger. Call 0808 800 5000 or report online here or visit NSPCC.
If you are concerned for a vulnerable adult, you should report your concerns about abuse to the local authority in which the person is living. Each local authority has an adult safeguarding team (sometimes called an adult protection team) – the details should be on your local authority website, or you can call them and ask. You should contact the adult safeguarding team if you have any suspicion that someone is at risk of abuse.
If you want to report a crime, you should call your local police by dialling 101 or report it online.
For Victim Support call 08 08 16 89 111
If you want advice or support about any of the above you can contact us in confidence.
ANI – The pharmacy codeword scheme
If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help, ask for ‘ANI’ in a participating pharmacy. ‘ANI’ stands for Action Needed Immediately but also phonetically sounds like the name Annie.
If a pharmacy has the ‘Ask for ANI’ logo on display, it means they’re ready to help. They will offer you a private space, provide a phone and ask if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.
How can you support me if I am being harassed?
When you report a suspected case of harassment to us we will visit you within five working days depending on the individual circumstance. If you suffer racial or any other form of harassment we will:
- Agree the next steps with you
- Repair any damage to your home
- Remove any offensive graffiti as soon as possible
- Arrange for extra security if this will help you.
If you need specialist support we will put you in touch with agencies with specialist knowledge and skills. You also have rights under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The Police can give a caution using the Act. If the person does not cease the Police can take further action, which may possibly result in an arrest.
If you are suffering from harassment of any kind contact us or fill in the online anti-social behaviour form.