Anti-social behaviour is any act that causes – or is likely to cause – alarm, harassment or distress.
It is also any act that can cause nuisance or annoyance related either to housing or the affected person's occupation of their home.
Types of anti-social behaviour
Examples of anti-social behaviour (ASB) include:
- noise nuisance
- drug taking and dealing
- threatening or rowdy behaviour
- violence and disorder
Activities that are not anti-social behaviour
We don't treat normal everyday activities as ASB unless they are a breach of tenancy. Examples of activities that may upset or disturb people but which cannot be dealt with as ASB are
- general living noise
- flushing toilets
- washing machines or other household appliances causing noise
- DIY during the day
- babies crying or playing
- children playing or arguing
- people talking at normal volume in their home or garden
- people smoking in their own home
- smells from cooking
- use of skateboards or bikes
- football played in the street, unless the ball is being kicked against a resident's wall
- people being inconsiderate or thoughtless
- people looking or staring
Report anti-social behaviour
We deal with ASB where the person causing the problem is a council tenant or it affects a council tenant. You can:
What we can do
People accused of ASB may not know they are causing a problem. Letting them know someone has complained can sometimes makes things better. We never say who has made the complaint.
If speaking to them doesn't solve the problem, a number of options are open to us, including:
- warning letters
- acceptable behaviour agreement
- community protection warning
- community protection notice
- criminal behaviour orders
- notice of seeking possession
- closure orders
- civil injunctions
While we don't want to make people homeless, sometimes a serious breach of a tenancy agreement could result in eviction.
In some situations, we may suggest you think about using The Essex Restorative and Mediation Service. This service enables those harmed by anti-social behaviour, conflict or even a criminal offence, to have contact with the person responsible in a safe environment.
It gives victims and families a chance to tell the offender how they feel about what has happened, ask for an apology and get answers to their questions. It can be effective in showing the responsible person the real impact their actions have on other people.
Both sides must agree for contact to take place. It is a voluntary process to find a positive way forward.