Anti-Social Behaviour Toolkit
This toolkit will look at what Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) is and how you can get help if you are affected by it.
What is ASB?
The law defines ASB as ‘conduct that is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, or cause nuisance or annoyance’. It includes behaviour that causes harm to:
- the environment – such as graffiti, vandalism or fly-tipping
- the community – such as noise, drunken behaviour, drug taking, youth nuisance, nuisance vehicles or drug dealing
- an individual – such as threatening or abusive language, harassment or aggressive behaviour
ASB is not...
We have given lots of examples below of things which can be upsetting or disturb you but they are not considered to be ASB, unless it can be proved that they happen all the time or are done deliberately to upset you.
- Babies crying or children playing and that includes ball games
- Minor personal differences,
- Children falling out or comments made on social media,
- Clashes in lifestyle or cultural differences,
- Cooking smells,
- Doors and drawers being shut
- Dishwashers, hoovers, tumble dryers, washing machines and or other household appliances
- Dropping of objects/moving of furniture
- Loud talking or laughing
- Families arguing and shouting between themselves
- People walking loudly on floors or upstairs
- Flushing toilets and running water
- Light switches being turned on and off
- One-off or isolated incidents such as a party or an argument
- People carrying out DIY jobs and car repairs unless this happens all the time or at unsocial hours
- Sexual noises
- Shift workers leaving home or returning at late or early times
- Where tenants haven’t broken the rules of their tenancy. This might be things like people staring or being inconsiderate, such as parking arguments
- Loud sounds coming through to your house because the walls are thin.
- People smoking inside their house
How do you report ASB?
There are different people to contact depending whether the issue relates to council, housing association, privately rented or owned houses.
But before you report ASB, you should always try to speak with your neighbour initially, making sure that you feel safe to do this. Often, they will be unaware that their behaviour is causing a problem. Having a friendly discussion, without professionals being involved, may solve the problem for you all.
If you need to report ASB in Wiltshire Council housing
Please email HSGMail@wiltshire.gov.uk or call 0300 456 0117 choose option 4 so that you can request a log sheet which will help you to record any information about ASB, with a time and date. You can then send this to Wiltshire Council who will come back to you and agree what happens next.
If you need to report ASB in privately rented, owner occupied or social housing
Landlords have a responsibility to address ASB in their properties.
Below is a list of housing associations (Registered Social Landlords) that you can contact directly.
If the property is owned or registered to a social landlord, and you know who this is, please contact the registered social landlord (RSL) directly.
If the house is privately rented or owned by the people who live there or you don’t know then either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 456 0100. You can then complete the log sheet and find out what to do next.
Types of ASB
Noise from animals
Everyone should be able to enjoy their home and neighbourhood. Tenants and residents should be tolerant and considerate of each other. If a pet is causing a nuisance, we suggest that you have a friendly word with your neighbour, as they may not be aware that their pet is causing a disturbance.
If dog barking is persistent, this is described as going on for at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days within a week and you do not feel safe approaching your neighbour, or if you have already tried and the situation has not improved, you can download noise diary sheets from the council’s website at Noise nuisance - Wiltshire Council
You can then complete the sheets with times and dates of incidents, and then return these to the council who will come back to you and agree what happens next.
People who own a dog, or are in charge of a dog, must clear up any dog fouling in any public space. If they do not, then they are committing an offence. This might mean a fine on the spot or being taken to court which could result in a fine up to £1000. You can report dog fouling by phoning 0300 456 0100 or using MyWilts online reporting at MyWilts online reporting - Wiltshire Council
It is against the law to have a dog that is dangerous and out of control. The dog does not have to bite someone, it could just show aggressive behaviour which makes someone feel in fear of their safety. If you are in fear or have been attacked by a dog please report it to the police on 101 or online at Report | Wiltshire Police
For more information see this link Animal crime | Wiltshire Police
If your dog has been attacked by another dog you can report this to the council by phone on 0300 456 0107
The law requires all dogs to be microchipped with the correct owner details. Microchipping is a way to identify a dog that may be lost or stolen and can be used to help reunite the pet with its owner.
More information can be found at the Council’s website at Dog Warden - Wiltshire Council
If you have any concerns regarding the welfare of an animal, please contact the RSPCA at www.rspca.org.uk/utilities/contactus/askus/online
This is a criminal offence and must be reported to the Police. If you feel your safety is at immediate risk you should call the fire service and the Police on 999.
If a crime has been committed and you are not currently in danger then please contact the Police on 101 or report it online at Report | Wiltshire Police
These helpful links take you to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service support if you are worried about a young person who is showing an interest or has started fires:- Firesetters Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service | Firesetters (dwfire.org.uk)
Or if you are worried about the safety of a relative, friend or neighbour - Safe and Well Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service | Are your neighbours Safe and Well? (dwfire.org.uk)
This is a criminal offence and must be reported to the Police. If you, or someone else is in immediate danger, please call the Police on 999.
If a crime has been committed and you are not currently in danger, please contact the Police on 101 or report it online at Report | Wiltshire Police
Domestic Abuse +
Domestic abuse can affect people and communities and leave a devastating impact on survivors, their families, and the wider community.
Wiltshire Council has an important role to play in tackling domestic abuse.
We work closely with the police and other relevant organisations to support individuals in cases of domestic abuse.
This section contains further information on domestic abuse however if you are continuing to be disturbed by domestic abuse and this is impacting your wellbeing then please contact the council for further advice. Speak out Wiltshire - Wiltshire Council
To find out more information about domestic abuse, including where to get help click here
Drugs and Alcohol (substance misuse) +
There are numerous risks associated with alcohol and illegal drug use and can be linked to ASB, acts of violence, criminal damage, theft and robbery, cuckooing and domestic abuse.
Councils have an important role to play in tackling substance misuse and work with other professionals to tackle drug and alcohol misuse.
Use of illegal drugs and drug dealing is a criminal offence and should be reported to the Police. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or a crime is taking place or just happened, you should contact the Police immediately on 999.
If you believe a crime has been committed and you are not currently in danger, please contact the Police on 101 or report it online here
Report | Wiltshire Police.
If you live in the Wiltshire area, and are struggling with substance misuse, there are services available that can help.
More information can be found at: Motiv8 Young People’s service: Tel 0800 169 6136 or email@example.com
Adult’s service: 0345 603 6993 IMPACTreferrals@turning-point.co.uk
IMPACT Swindon & Wiltshire (turning-point.co.uk)
Cuckooing is when a drug dealer, or a gang, takes over a vulnerable person’s address for criminal purposes. They may take advantage of people who are vulnerable so that they can use their address to deal drugs, make a profit and to avoid the police.
Cuckooing is often seen as part of county lines activity which involves drug gangs taking advantage of children and vulnerable adults.
The victims of cuckooing are often:
- People who have drug and/or alcohol addiction
- Those who are struggling financially
- The elderly
- People with mental health issues
- People with learning disabilities.
If you know someone who is being cuckooed, contact the Police by calling 101 or report it online here Report | Wiltshire Police. If you believe you are a victim of cuckooing yourself, tell someone – a family member, a friend, or the police.
Fly tipping +
Fly tipping is when people dump their rubbish on private or public land or water ways. It also includes leaving items next to bins or recycling banks or outside closed household recycling centres and charity shops.
Fly tipping is illegal and it can be unsightly and dangerous to people and wildlife. It is an offence for any person to leave rubbish or litter in areas unlawfully and offenders may be prosecuted.
Everyone has a legal duty of care to ensure their household or business waste is disposed of correctly. You can be prosecuted even if your waste is fly tipped by someone else on your behalf. If it's your waste, it's your responsibility.
If you choose to use someone else to collect and dispose of your waste it is your responsibility to:
- Make sure that the person or company holds a valid waste carriers licence with the Environment Agency - if they don't have one, don't use them.
- Keep a record of who collected your waste, what they collected, when they collected it, where they will dispose of it.
If you should see any fly tipping occurring, or notice any fly tipped refuse, please report it using the link below
Wiltshire Council Booking and Reporting
Harassment and intimidation +
Harassment is a criminal offence and should be reported to the Police. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or a crime is taking place or just happened, you should contact the Police immediately on 999.
If you believe a crime has been committed and you are not currently in danger, please contact the Police on 101 or report it online. Report | Wiltshire Police
We understand that it may be difficult to report this, but police officers are here to help provide you with advice and direct you to the correct support services.
The following types of behaviour are recognised as harassment:
- threats either in person, over the phone, on social media
- following someone or waiting outside their house or place of work
- making silent phone calls
- verbal abuse or name calling
- physical violence
- damaging property
- doing anything that knowingly causes distress to someone else
People are allowed to voice their opinions on social media, as they would do in person. If you disagree with someone’s views, it does not mean that this is ASB, or a crime, or that the police can take action. There is, however, a difference between someone being rude or argumentative, or having a different point of view, to you receiving threats or targeted abuse.
If a person sends threatening/abusive/grossly offensive messages to another person via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social networking site, they could be committing an offence.
If you have received any threatening/abusive/offensive messages via a social networking site, and believe that an offence may have been committed, you can report this to the police on 101.
Do not respond to the message, or get someone to speak to them for you, it may only encourage the sender or make the situation worse. Take a screen shot of the message so that if they delete the message then you will still have a record of what was said.
Further guidance and how to report harassment can be found at the following link:
What is stalking and harassment? | Wiltshire Police
Hate Crime +
A hate crime is any incident which constitutes a criminal offence and the victim, or any other person, believes it to be caused by prejudice or hate. A hate incident can be recorded because of particular factors such as:
- A person's disability
- Their race, ethnicity or nationality
- Their religion or belief
- Their sexual orientation
- Their transgender identity
- Their sex or gender
We understand that it may be difficult to report this, but our Officers are here to help provide you with advice and direct you to the correct support services. Any hate crime can be reported to the police using the link below. Report hate crime | Wiltshire Police
For more information or other ways to report hate crime see the links below
Home - Stop Hate UK
Stop Homophobic, Transphobic, Racial, Religious & Disability Hate Crime - True Vision (report-it.org.uk)
A simple definition of noise is 'unwanted sound'.
You may be experiencing ‘noise’ but the council can only take action to address this if the noise is severe. To establish if this is the case, it's useful to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the noise loud, and/or does it have some other annoying quality which makes it disturbing?
- Is it frequent and how long does it normally last?
- Does the noise occur at unreasonable times, such as very early in the morning or late in the evening?
- Is it due to unreasonable behaviour, and is the noise problem easily put right?
- Does the noise arise from normal behaviour?
- Could the real problem be poor sound insulation between the properties?
- Crucially, would a reasonable person consider the noise to be a nuisance, having regard to the circumstances?
Before reporting a noise to the council we would recommend speaking to the person making the noise, if you feel safe to do so, asking them whether the noise can be reduced or stopped. Often people aren’t even aware that they’re causing a problem to someone else.
Details on noise nuisance and how to report it can be found at: Noise nuisance - Wiltshire Council
If the noise is coming from a Wiltshire Council property, please contact our Housing team by emailing HSGMail@wiltshire.gov.uk or phoning 0300 456 0117 Option 4 who will follow the investigation procedure for tenants.
Sexual Offences +
Sexual offences are serious crimes and do not come within the definition of ASB. These types of offences should be reported to the Police. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or a crime is taking place or just happened, you should contact the Police immediately on 999.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of rape or sexual assault there are a number of ways that you can report an incident to the Police. Further details can be found here How to report rape and sexual assault | Wiltshire Police
Wiltshire Council understand how difficult it may be to report a sexual offence.
More information and support on reporting a sexual assault can be found at these links:
Swindon & Wiltshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) | Your care Your support Wiltshire
If you think that a vehicle has been abandoned, the council will investigate to see if action can be taken. Checks will be made including enquiries to DVLA and other agencies and, if necessary, someone will come and inspect the vehicle.
Abandoned vehicles may be reported at MyWilts online reporting - Wiltshire Council
Violence and Threats +
This is a criminal offence and should be reported to the Police. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or a crime is taking place or just happened, you should contact the Police immediately on 999.
If you believe a crime has been committed and you are not currently in danger, please contact the Police on 101 or report it online using the link below
Report | Wiltshire Police
A Safer Night Charter has been launched to improve night time safety. More details can be found at
StreetSafe is a pilot designed for the public to anonymously tell the police about public places where they've felt unsafe. See the link below.
StreetSafe | Wiltshire Police
Further information on ASB
These websites give other information about Anti-Social Behaviour
Complaining about your neighbour - Citizens Advice
Tackling the Problem of Anti-social Behaviour yourself (asbhelp.co.uk)
If you, or someone you know is a Victim of persistent ASB, and you don’t feel that you that there has been a satisfactory response to reports of ASB, then you have the right to ask for a multi-agency review of the case. Certain thresholds must be met in order to qualify for a case review. These ASB reviews are known as the Community Trigger.
The review process is not a complaints procedure. If you have a complaint about the handling of your case, you should follow the complaints procedure.
For more information on the Community Trigger, please visit
Other ways to tackle ASB
Warning letters +
An initial contact to inform that complaints have been received
Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC) +
A voluntary agreement between a person, the council and/or the police. The person agrees to stop the anti-social behaviour; in return a support package can be tailored to the individual’s needs.
Community Protection Warnings (CPW) and Community Protection Notices (CPN). +
These place certain restrictions on a person to stop behaviour which is having a harmful impact upon an individual or community. Initially a CPW will be issued, if this is breached a CPN will be issued. Failure to comply with CPN conditions can lead to prosecution by law.
Closure orders +
This order enables access to a premises to be restricted as a means of tackling anti-social behaviour where there has been serious nuisance or disorder.
Dispersal Orders +
Designed to reduce anti-social behaviour problems in defined areas.
ASB tenancy warning letter +
This notifies the tenant about reports of ASB that have been received and action that may be taken if the ASB continues. This may include the use of noise monitoring equipment and CCTV to gather impartial evidence of ASB.
Criminal Behaviour Order +
This is available on conviction for any criminal offence in any criminal court. The court may make a CBO so long as the court imposes a sentence in respect of the offence or discharges the offender conditionally. The order is intended for tackling the most serious and persistent offenders where their behaviour has brought them before a criminal court.
Public Spaces Protection Order +
These orders are intended to deal with a particular nuisance or problem in a specific area that is detrimental to the local community’s quality of life, by imposing conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone. They are intended to help ensure that the law-abiding majority can use and enjoy public spaces, safe from anti-social behaviour.
Injunction (Application to Court required) +
This is an order made in Court and issued to an individual aged over 10 has acted in an anti-social manner. The order will prohibit the individual from particular behaviours and if breached it is a contempt of Court and could result in a prison sentence or fine or both
Formal Court Undertaking (Application to Court required) +
This is an agreement made in Court and issued to an individual who has acted in an anti-social manner. The individual agrees to do/not do certain activities. If they do not comply with the undertaking this is a contempt of Court which is a criminal offence and could result in a prison sentence or fine or both
Notice of Seeking Possession +
This is a notice giving the tenant four weeks’ notice of the end of tenancy. It gives the ground/s for ending the tenancy. If the tenant does not vacate the premise within the four weeks then the Council may commence possession proceedings of the ASB continues
Possession Proceedings leading to eviction (Application to Court required) +
The Council will apply to the County Court to regain possession of the premise and if granted the tenant is evicted.