The Shropshire Community Safety Partnership believes that all residents and tenants have the right to live peacefully within their home and communities, and is committed to tackling Anti-Social Behaviour.
What is Anti-Social Behaviour?
Anti-Social Behaviour is defined as behaviour that causes harassment, alarm or distress to a member or members of the public. This can be a one-off event or a serious of events over a period of time.
Anti-Social Behaviour can be harassment, intimidation, abusive language, criminal damage/damage to property, threats of or actual physical violence these incidents can happen online or in person. This list is not exhaustive.
The Impact of Anti-Social Behaviour
The impact of Anti-Social Behaviour can be significant for some people. Victim Support say the following:
“You might think that an incident is small or unimportant to start with, but Anti-Social Behaviour can go on for a long time and become very serious. Not all Anti-Social Behaviour is classed as crime but a lot is or can become a crime.
Anyone can experience Anti-Social Behaviour and it can affect you in many ways. You may find that:
- you can’t sleep
- you feel anxious and constantly on edge
- you are frightened to go out
- you don’t feel safe in your own home
- your children are upset
- you change your routine to avoid problems
- you want to move
- you can’t talk to anyone about it
- you feel you must have done something to cause it
- you think nothing will change and it will never end”.
As a result of Anti-Social Behaviour, people may need support from health, social care services and the criminal justice system.
Why does Anti-Social Behaviour happen?
Anti-Social Behaviour happens for a number of reasons. It may be because it is motivated by hate and this is known as a hate incident or crime. A hate incident or crime is when the action of another is thought by the victim (or any other person) to be motivated by hostility because of a protected characteristic. There are ten protected characteristics and they are:
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender reassignment
- Marriage or civil partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity
What can I do about Anti-Social Behaviour?
You could try talking to to the person causing the Anti-Social Behaviour first if you feel safe doing so, because they might not be aware they are causing a problem. Sometimes this can be a better solution than involving agencies. If this does not solve the problem, or you are fearful of approaching the people involved, you should consider reporting the problem. Whatever route you take you should be prepared to negotiate to find a resolution.
In serious cases of Anti-Social Behaviour, agencies will help you while the problem is sorted out and the person who is causing a problem to you is supported to help change their behaviour.
It can be a big help if you keep a clear picture of the problem by writing all the incidents in a diary, noting the date, time, what happened and how it has affected you.
How to report Anti-Social Behaviour
As Anti-Social Behaviour covers a range of behaviours, there are a number of agencies who can respond and this can lead to confusion over knowing who to report what to.
Shropshire Council has a number that you can report Anti-Social Behaviour to where the Council has a responsibility to respond.
They have a statutory duty to investigate matters under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 some of which can be classed as Anti-Social Behaviour where it can cause a risk to health and/or a nuisance to individuals or the community such as:
- premises in a dangerous state;
- smoke, fumes or gases coming from a premises;
- any dust, steam, or other unpleasant smell or discharge arising on industrial, trade or business premises;
- any animal kept in poor conditions
- noise and/or artificial light coming from a premises;
- noise caused by a vehicle, machinery or equipment on a street
There are also other statutory duties, some of which overlap with Anti-Social Behaviour which are carried out by the Environmental Protection Team and the Housing Enforcement Team, the most widely reported being:
- Public Health Act 1936 has various provisions that are used to deal with waste, accumulations, premises that are considered to be filthy and or verminous, drainage.
- Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 (S.4) – Provided provision to deal with land that is or likely to be infested by pests/vermin.
- Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (S.29) - provides powers to board up insecure premises.
- Housing Act 2004 – Provisions to licence and enforce Houses of Multiple Occupation.
Other services within the Council could use existing powers and Anti-Social Behaviour legislation when dealing with their core work in the same way that the Environmental Protection Team does, for example, Environmental Maintenance could respond to fly tipping, dog fouling, drug paraphernalia, racial or abusive graffiti.
Other examples of Anti-Social Behaviour include:
- Fly-tipping. Inert items such as tyres, building waste can be a huge issue when fly tipped on both public and private land, but are not environmental health or public health issues
- Alcohol related ASB in public places that results from consumption of alcohol in licensed premises, but also consumption of alcohol in public places themselves
- Dog fouling/out of control dogs in public places/stray dogs
- Drugs paraphernalia in public places
- Graffiti targeting you
- Urinating/defecation in a public place
- Vehicle related nuisance: on street repairs; inconsiderate parking
- High hedges
To report matters to the above teams at Shropshire Council you can telephone 0345 678 9020
You can also report matters to your housing provider
To report anti-social behaviour to West Mercia Police call 101. This number is available at all times.
For emergency/urgent situations we encourage people to ring 999
If you experience and have reported at least three incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour within a six month period and are not happy with the response that you have received then you can demand an Anti-Social Behaviour Case Review