Anti-social behaviour including graffiti

Do you think a friend is involved in anti-social behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour can worry people and cause upset in your local community.

These types of activity are all anti-social:

  • graffiti and vandalism
  • littering or dumping rubbish
  • misuse of fireworks including using them late at night
  • shouting or noisy behaviour in places where this might be annoying or upsetting (e.g. outside someone's house)
  • using rude, abusive or insulting language
  • threatening behaviour or bullying (including on the internet, mobile phones or other electronic media)
  • upsetting someone by being racist or homophobic towards them
  • racial harassment or homophobic behaviour
  • uncontrolled or dangerous dogs
  • assault
  • theft
  • using vehicles in an anti social manner (for example blocking access, noisy radios, wheel spinning)
  • excessively drinking alcohol, alcohol related trouble or buying and selling drugs in the street

Some anti-social behaviour, like buying and selling drugs, is also a crime punishable by the law. Each case will be treated individually. If your friend is arrested, he or she might be sentenced in court for a crime, but might also receive an ASBO.

Why are they doing it?

There may be many reasons why your friend is behaving like this:

  • problems at home
  • they are around others that behave this way
  • they are upset about something
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • no-one's told them to stop

What can you do?

It can be difficult challenging someone who does not care about the effect of behaving badly. They might turn against you. But if you do feel they will want to talk about it:

  • make them see you are on their side
  • you are not judging them
  • there is help for them if they want it
  • you will stand by them and support them

You should encourage them to speak to someone else about what is going on. Talking to their parents could be a first step, although they may feel unable to talk to their parents. Suggest to them that they:

If you think it's getting really bad, perhaps you feel you need to report your friend even if you know they will get into trouble. It's better they get into a bit of trouble now than it get worse, as they'll just get themselves into a lot more trouble later on:

Getting more help

For more information about anti-social behaviour visit our ‘Get the facts’ or ‘More help and advice’ pages.