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Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)

What is Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)? 

The ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014 defines ASB as: “Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person, or conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person’s occupation of residential premises, or conduct capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person”.

The term is used to describe actions that unreasonably interfere with or could interfere with an occupier’s normal use and enjoyment of their home, garden or neighbourhood.

There may be a fine line between anti-social behaviour and disputes between neighbours over relatively minor inconveniences, although these may, if persistent, become anti-social behaviour. Anti-social behaviour can include:

In the community:

  • Noise nuisance, e.g. loud music, persistent shouting/rowing;
  • Rowdy, loutish behaviour and drunkenness;
  • The fouling of public areas;
  • Pet nuisance/uncontrolled animals;
  • Jamming open communal doors;
  • Throwing things out of windows or off balconies;
  • Dealing or taking drugs;
  • Street drinking;
  • Soliciting or kerb crawling;
  • Vehicle-related nuisance & inappropriate vehicle use;
  • Begging.

Environmental:

  • Graffiti;
  • Damage to street furniture;
  • Damage to property/buildings;
  • Damage to trees, hedges, plants;
  • Dumping rubbish and fly-tipping;
  • Abandoned vehicles.

Acts directed at people:

  • Intimidation and harassment;
  • Stalking;
  • Cyber stalking;
  • Cyber bullying;
  • Hate incidents;
  • Hate crime;
  • Malicious communications.

Examples of what isn’t ASB:

  • Cooking odours;
  • Babies crying*;
  • Normal behaviour occurring at unusual times because of different working patterns provided the resident is attempting to keep disturbance to a minimum;
  • One off parties e.g. BBQ where there’s no evidence the problem will reoccur;
  • Clash of lifestyles including cultural differences;
  • Clash of personalities;
  • Children’s play;
  • Noise transference due to poor sound installation;
  • Dirty looks.

*If there are any concerns about the welfare of a child this should be highlighted to social services.

There is also a clear link between Anti-Social Behaviour and crime. Nuisance can escalate if not dealt with, and this can erode people’s sense of attachment to where they live. We actively work with other agencies such as Kent Police, where Anti-social Behaviour escalates or overlaps with criminal acts.

For more information on current tools and powers available to agencies to tackle nuisance, please see the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Neighbour Disputes

If the problems you are experiencing is a dispute between yourself and your neighbour we would also recommend mediation as a possible option. More information and contact details can be found on the Ashford Mediation website.

Council tenants

If you are a council tenant and are affected by anti-social behaviour, Housing Services will be able to help. 

When confronting nuisance and anti-social behaviour, Social Landlords may also have their own procedures for dealing with complaints, so if you rent your property through a social landlord there may also be additional guidance available to you.

If the anti-social behaviour you are experiencing is of a criminal nature it needs to be reported to Kent Police directly. This can be done by calling their 101 number or by using their online reporting tool.

In emergencies, always call 999.

Visit Kent Police website and enter your postcode to find out who your local beat officer is, their contact details as well as crime maps, surgeries and priorities.

The Community Safety Partnership works together to reduce crime and the fear of crime and shares information to take co-ordinated action against anti-social behaviour.

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