What is Anti-Social Behaviour?
Anti-social behaviour is defined as 'Conduct that has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to any person' under Section 105(4) of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
But what does this mean? Find out more about how we classify anti-social behaviour and the many activities that it covers.
What constitutes anti-social behaviour?
There are three main categories for anti-social behaviour, depending on how many people are affected:
- Personal anti-social behaviour is when a person targets a specific individual or group.
- Nuisance anti-social behaviour is when a person causes trouble, annoyance or suffering to a community.
- Environmental anti-social behaviour is when a person's actions affect the wider environment, such as public spaces or buildings.
Under these main headings anti-social behaviour falls into one of 13 different types:
- Vehicle abandoned: This covers vehicles that appear to have been left by their owner, rather than stolen and abandoned. It includes scrap or 'end of life' vehicles and those damaged at the scene of a road traffic collision that have been abandoned and aren't awaiting recovery.
- Vehicle nuisance or inappropriate use: This relates to vehicles being used in acts such as street cruising (driving up and down the street causing annoyance and bothering other road users), vehicle convoys and riding or driving on land other than a road. It also covers the misuse of go-peds, motorised skateboards and electric-propelled cycles, and the unlicensed dealing of vehicles where a person has two or more vehicles on the same road within 500 metres of each other.
- Rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour: This refers to general nuisance behaviour in a public place or a place to which the public have access, such as private clubs. It does not include domestic-related behaviour, harassment or public disorder which should be reported as crimes.
- Rowdy or nuisance neighbours: This covers any rowdy behaviour or general nuisance caused by neighbours. It also covers noise nuisance from parties or playing loud music.
- Littering or drugs paraphernalia: This includes fly posting and discarding litter, rubbish or drugs paraphernalia in any public place.
- Animal problems: This covers any situation where animals are creating a nuisance or people's behaviour associated with the use of animals is deemed as anti-social. It includes uncontrolled animals, stray dogs, barking, fouling and intimidation by an animal.
- Trespassing: This is any situation in which people have entered land, water or premises without lawful authority or permission. It ranges from taking an unauthorised shortcut through a garden to setting up unauthorised campsites.
- Nuisance calls: This covers any type of communication by phone that causes anxiety and annoyance, including silent calls and intrusive 'cold calling' from businesses. It does not cover indecent, threatening or offensive behaviour which should be reported as crimes.
- Street drinking: This relates to unlicensed drinking in public spaces, where the behaviour of the persons involved is deemed as anti-social. It also covers unplanned and spontaneous parties which encroach on the street.
- Prostitution-related activity: This relates to any activity involving prostitution such as loitering, displaying cards or promoting prostitution. It may also refer to activities in and around a brothel that impact on local residents. It does not include 'kerb-crawling' which should be reported as a crime.
- Nuisance noise: This relates to all incidents of noise nuisance that do not involve neighbours (see 'Nuisance neighbours' above).
- Begging: This covers anyone begging or asking for charitable donations in a public place, or encouraging a child to do so, without a license. Unlicensed ticket sellers at or near public transport hubs may also fall into this category.
- Misuse of fireworks: This will include the inappropriate use of fireworks, the unlawful sale or possession of fireworks and noise created by fireworks.
Anti-social behaviour is dealt with by a range of agencies including Local Authorities, the Police, and Registered Social Landlords. The information on the pages in the section will help you to identify the best agency to contact to help you to deal with the problem/s you are experiencing.
What isn't anti-social behaviour?
Some examples of behaviours which are NOT generally considered as anti-social behaviour include:
- Young people playing in parks and gardens;
- Disputes between members of individual households (see below);
- Inconsiderate parking;
- Disputes over property and boundaries: you can get advice from the citizens advice bureau or consult a solicitor, click here for further information;
- Business activities associated with either commercial or private premises.
Neighbour disputes and/or family disagreements
We will not intervene in neighbour disputes and or family disagreements, which by their nature are based on people's intolerance and or prejudice associated with intergenerational, individual and lifestyle differences.
The classic neighbour/family type disputes between individuals do not amount to criminality or anti-social behaviour and are regarded as a private matter between the individuals concerned.
In the absence of parties agreeing to participate with mediation, parties will be advised to seek closure to their situation, through privately accessed civil remedy.
Agencies use a multi-agency case management system to record and respond effectively to reports received in relation to anti-social behaviour. Should you require any details about what information is shared, and who it is shared with please contact the agency directly.
Our commitment and expectations
What we ask of you:
- Report the behaviour;
- Give details - to enable us to collate information of what is occurring, the persistence of the behaviour and the impact it is having;
- Keep a record of the behaviour - we will ask people affected by the behaviour to complete a diary, or possibly a written statement to evidence what they have experienced.
In return, we will:
- Record all complaints received, and will give advice;
- Remain in regular contact with you and offer support;
- Agree an action plan with you so that you are aware of action being taken and what is expected from you at each stage;
- Look at the facts and assess the type, extent and seriousness of the problem and decide what action is necessary and proportionate to help resolve it;
- We will consider a range of enforcement powers to enable us to deal with various types of ASB. These powers are incremental and usually start with a letter advising someone to cease their ASB. If these steps are not effective, action can ultimately be taken through the courts.
How you can contact us
If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour you can report this to Boston Borough Council in a number of ways (please note, all noise nuisance should be reported to Environmental Health in the first instance as per the Noise Pollution page).
Report Anti-Social Behaviour:
- Via our online reporting form
- By telephoning us on 01205 314200
- Via e-mail to the community safety team
If you want to report a non-urgent incident to Lincolnshire Police, you can call their non-emergency number 101, or complete an online reporting form on their website.
We have a policy in place to deal with complainants who we believe to be unreasonable, vexatious and/or untruthful. The policy outlines what will happen in the event that a complainant appears not to be telling the truth, motivated by malice, unreasonable or otherwise undeserving of support through enforcement action. For further details, or to request a copy of the policy please get in touch with the Community Safety Team via the telephone number or e-mail address in the section above.
Safer Lincolnshire Partnership
The Safer Lincolnshire Partnership is the single multi-agency forum for addressing community safety issues across Lincolnshire. For information on the Partnership, including its aims and objectives, current key priorities, and a list of agencies that form the partnership, please visit their website.