Anti-social behaviour including graffiti

Get the facts

Are you worried about people causing trouble around where you live? Have you been accused of anti-social behaviour yourself? What exactly is anti-social behaviour? Get the facts here.

Anti-social behaviour means “any behaviour from any person that causes another person harassment, alarm or distress”. This means hurting or upsetting anyone. There are many different ways this can happen. See below.

What types of anti-social behaviour are there? Here are some examples:

  • 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
  • uncontrolled or dangerous dogs
  • joyriding or using vehicles in an anti social manner (for example blocking access, noisy radios, wheel spinning); abandoning a vehicle
  • excessively drinking alcohol, alcohol related trouble or buying and selling drugs in the street
  • begging

Some anti-social behaviour, like buying and selling drugs, is a crime punishable by the law. Each case will be treated individually. If you are arrested, you might be sentenced in court for a crime, but you might also receive an ASBO (see below for more about ASBOs).

Anti-social behaviour can ruin lives and prevent parts of towns and cities from being improved and developed.

There are lots of reasons individuals or groups of people might get involved in anti-social behaviour:

  • problems at home
  • truancy or exclusion from school
  • bad behaviour that hasn't previously been challenged
  • a general disrespect for the community
  • living or being around others who are anti-social

How the police tackle anti-social behaviour

We take anti social behaviour seriously, and working with our partners will take steps to tackle it.

An Anti-Social Behaviour Order, or an ASBO as it is more commonly known, is a court order given to someone who has been involved in anti-social behaviour and who will not voluntarily change their behaviour. It sets out certain rules that they must stick to in their local area. For example, it could say that they are not allowed to go somewhere or to go near somebody. If that person does not stick to the terms of the ASBO, they could be sent to prison.