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Anti-social behaviour

Information on what anti-social behaviour is, isn't, what to do if you're a victim of anti-social behaviour, and resolving neighbourhood disputes.

What ASB is...

Aggressive, intimidating or destructive actions that disrupt, damage or destroy someone else’s quality of life. It includes crimes such as damaging property, graffiti, taking drugs in public, thoughtless use of vehicles, drunken, rowdy or threatening behaviour.

Other ASB, which isn’t actually a crime and is dealt with by other agencies, includes noisy neighbours, littering and abandoning vehicles on the road.

What ASB isn't...

Reasonable activity, such as children playing, everyday DIY (unless at unreasonable times), groups of youngsters in the street or in parks, unless they are being rowdy, abusive, causing damage or other crime.

Reporting disputes with neighbours directly to the police, a landlord or other agencies can often make a situation worse. So as a first step think about whether you can sort the problem out by talking to the person as they may not realise they are being anti-social.

  • Explain what is upsetting you. It’s helpful to give times, dates and examples and explain how it affects you and your family, rather than just complain about it
  • It may be that your neighbour isn’t aware of the problem and you could reach a compromise
  • Remember that your neighbour may have problems and concerns that you are not aware of
  • Try to think about how you would like to be spoken to if someone had a problem with something you were doing
  • Try not to shout or lose your temper as this can make it worse and could lead to action being taken against you
  • If speaking to your neighbour doesn’t stop the problem, independent mediation may help.

    However, if you have experienced violence or harassment from your neighbour in the past or feel threatened by them you should not try to sort the issue out yourself. Also, if you are aware that your neighbour may have vulnerabilities that could affect their behaviour the best thing to do is contact your Safer Neighbourhood Team or, if applicable, your Housing Association.

If you can't sort an issue out, using mediation might help you understand each other’s point of view and find an answer. Mediators do not take sides, but try to find something you can both agree on. Using mediation early on can often stop problems getting worse. But even when a problem has been going on for a while, mediation can still help someone see they are causing a problem and stop it. More details are on the Surrey Community Safety website.

If you feel unhappy about doing any of this, or feel it may put you at risk, we can arrange a meeting for you and your neighbour and send an officer to help you talk it through. Joining Neighbourhood Watch or a local residents/tenants’ association may also help.

Who deals with which types of ASB?

  • Anti-social use of vehicles
  • Rowdy and nuisance behaviour
  • Street drinking and anti-social drinking
  • Begging
  • Criminal damage/vandalism
  • Drug dealing
  • Misuse of airguns and inappropriate use of fireworks
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Discarded drugs or paraphernalia
  • Graffiti
  • Litter, rubbish, fly-tipping and fly-posting
  • Street trading
  • Street drinking/anti-social drinking (where related to premises selling alcohol)
  • Noise and noisy neighbours/businesses
  • Loud music
  • Noisy tenants
  • Tenants committing anti-social behaviour

Getting the police involved

If you feel you can't sort the problem yourself and it's something that can be dealt with by the police (see Who Deals With ASB above) contact us. We will work with other agencies to decide what to do. Together, we will try to help an offender understand the impact of their actions and discourage further ASB. If it continues, we have a range of options available to resolve the problem.

Evidence

We will need evidence of ASB. Contact your Safer Neighbourhood Team if you would like an ASB diary and help on how to complete it.

Community Trigger

You (or someone acting on your behalf), businesses or community groups, can ask for a review if you are unhappy with the response to an ASB complaint.  The agencies involved will review what has been done and decide whether any further actions are possible. You can find more information about the Community Trigger here.

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