Anti Social Behaviour

 

The term Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) covers a wide range of unacceptable activity that impacts the lives of people on a regular basis. It often leaves victims feeling helpless, desperate and with a seriously reduced quality of life. Terms such as ‘nuisance’, ‘disorder’, ‘harassment’ and intimidation are often used to describe this type of behaviour. To be classed as anti-social behaviour it needs to be a clear pattern of behaviour over a period of time.

The Safer Arun Partnership focus resources based on the principle of whether an issue is causing harm to an individual, community or neighbourhood.

 

Personal Harm

Where an individual or group of individuals suffer physical, mental or emotional harm, regardless of whether the individual was deliberately targeted or inflicting harm was the perpetrators’ intention.  It is recognised that some people are more liable to be negatively impacted by ASB for various reasons where there are certain vulnerabilities or they are repeat victims.

 

Public Nuisance

Where an individual or group of individuals use inconsiderate behaviour which has the potential to impact negatively on another individual or group, for example, such behaviours as noise and rowdy behaviour in shopping centres, parks or when leaving pubs and clubs.

 

Environmental Harm

Includes behaviour which causes harm to the environment, such as graffiti, fly-tipping and littering.

 

Issues not considered to be Anti-social Behaviour

The list below is not exhaustive, but highlights some of the issues that will not automatically be dealt with, but where possible will be sign-posted to more appropriate agencies and organisations.

  • Noise from children playing
  • Low level neighbour disputes; e.g. boundaries, bonfires
  • Family disputes
  • Highway parking complaints, unless there is significant and repetitive obstruction involved
  • People gathering socially
  • Lifestyle choice differences
  • One-off noise disturbances
  • Reasonable noise from vehicles on the highway
  • Some matters related to animal nuisance

Isolated incidents cannot be classed as ASB, nor can run of the mill disputes between neighbours or petty intolerance due to different lifestyles. If you have a dispute with your neighbour you can contact the Sussex Mediation Service for help and advice.

 

Arun District Council ASB Team

Arun District Council has a dedicated ASB Team who are co-located in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis police stations from Monday to Friday working closely with the Neighbourhood Policing Teams. This makes sure all ASB issues and concerns are dealt with in a co-ordinated way throughout the Safer Arun Partnership.

 

Reporting ASB

You should always call 999 immediately if:

  • A crime is being committed now
  • The offender is still there or nearby
  • People are injured, being threatened or in danger.

You should call 101 (15p per call) or complete a Sussex Police Online Report if:

  • The crime has already happened
  • There is no immediate threat of danger or injury

You can use the following methods to report anti-social behaviour to Arun District Council:

  • Email asb@arun.gov.uk
  • Call the dedicated 24-hour answerphone service on 0808 141 2800  (free from UK landlines)

 

Community Trigger

The Community Trigger is a process which enables victims or communities the opportunity to ask agencies to review their response to ASB or hate incidents they have reported to Police, Council or Registered Social Landlord, using the Community Trigger form*.

You can use this process if:

  • You have reported three anti-social behaviour or hate incidents about the same issue in the last six months to the police, the council or your housing provider and no action has been taken. You can activate the process on behalf of someone else if you have their written consent
  • The anti-social behaviour or hate incident was reported within one month of the incident taking place, and;
  • The application should be made within six months of the first incident being reported

*Please note the Community trigger does not replace the complaints procedure.  

 You will be notified within 3 working days to whether your case meets the review criteria. If it does a further review will be carried out and recommendations made on how to progress your case. This will be reported to you within a further 10 days. If you are not happy with the decisions made or wish to comment on the service received, you can use the complaints procedure for the lead agency on your case.

Support for Victims and Witnesses

ASB can have a severe impact upon its victims and partner agencies are therefore committed to supporting them to ensure they are treated promptly, fairly, with dignity and respect, and in confidence. 

Support for Victims and Witnesses will include:

  • Providing the victim with a clear understanding of the process, choices and options available (including the opportunity to have their evidence given by professional witnesses)
  • Ongoing support before and after the case, keeping them informed of any related developments
  • Regular communication with the victim and witnesses
  • Referral to appropriate support agencies with the victim’s consent
  • Prompt responses to reports of ASB
  • Treating victims and witnesses sympathetically and sensitively
  • The issue of diary sheets where necessary (or other appropriate recording means) to record future incidents
  • Working with the police to help prevent further intimidation
  • Offer to arrange a familiarisation visit to the courts where required
  • Provision of an interpretation service where people have limited or no understanding of English
  • Provision of assistance on request for people with hearing difficulties and / or other forms of disability.

 

Early Interventions

Early intervention can be successful in stopping the ASB by many perpetrators.  These interventions can establish clear standards of behaviour and reinforce the message that ASB will not be tolerated and in many cases can be sufficient incentive for an individual to change their behaviour.

 

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

The enforcement tools contained with the Anti-Social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 are designed to allow the police, councils, registered social landlords and others to deal with problems quickly where possible and when correct thresholds are met. They will be used where early interventions have not had the desired affect and the behaviour persists.

For guidance on the tools & powers available click here.