HOW TO REPORT ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
Click here to complete our 'Act Now!' Interactive Guide to help you report anti-social behaviour to the right agency in the right way.
There are a number of different agencies involved in tackling anti-social behaviour. The main three are the police, your local authority and housing associations.
To see a list of other agencies that are involved, please see our Who’s who of agencies.
It is not always easy to know who to contact nor the best way to contact them. It can also differ from one local area to another.
Our Act Now! Guide seeks to guide you through who you should contact. The answer will depend on various factors such as:
What the anti-social behaviour is
Whether you have reported it before (with a satisfactory or unsatisfactory response)
Whether you or the alleged offender are social landlord tenants
Don’t just assume if it is out of office hours that you need to call the Police. You do not. Local Authorities and Housing Associations have out-of-hour numbers you can call too. Our Act Now! Guide will take you to the right page of your Local Authority website for many of the common problems like noise and graffiti. On these pages, you will find all the information you need to formally report the problem. Just work through our Act Now! guide to learn more.
How about getting enough evidence?
You need evidence to prove your case. Perhaps you have already reported it, but when the Police arrive on the scene, the anti-social behaviour had stopped. See our Tips for Getting Evidence page for some ideas.
When you call to report anti-social behaviour: Be Prepared.
You will probably be asked the following questions so have your answers ready:
What is being done?
Who is doing it?
When did it happen (date and time)?
Is this the first instance? If not, how often has it happened?
The police, local authority, or other agency have a range of tools available to them to tackle anti-social behaviour. Early intervention techniques are very effective in a number of situations - these include measures such as verbal and written warnings, mediation and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (also called ABCs, or Acceptable Behaviour Agreements) which are voluntary written agreements between a perpetrator who is under 18 and the local authority and police, agreeing not to be involved with certain anti-social acts (witnessed also by their parents).
Legally, there are a variety of options for agencies. See What the Law Says for information on these tools. Some of these can be done on their own. For others they need to agree them with partner agencies. The actions need to be decided through court and the decision will ultimately lie with the judge on that particular day. Agencies therefore need to gather together solid evidence to support their case. To do this takes time and costs money. Therefore agencies will want to be pretty sure they can get the result they want before going to court. You can help by providing as much evidence as possible with as much detail as you can. They will usually also need to convince the judge that they have tried early intervention techniques like ABCs and failed which is why court action is required.