Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) is when a person(s) acts in a mannor that is likely to cause harrassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons.
Some anti social behaviour may be one off events and some can be persistent. Persistent ASB can be reported to Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC). One off incidents, such as rowdy behaviour in the street or at a party which gets out of control should be reported to Warwickshire Police while they are happening.
There can be confusion, as what one person considers as ASB can be seen as acceptable behaviour by another person. This is why it is important that someone suffering from anti social behaviour makes contact with the relevant authority themselves. Organisations prefer to deal with complaints directly from the person rather than on behalf of somebody else or anonymously. They will need to discuss with the victim what is causing the nuisance and how it is effecting their day to day life.
What is not ASB?
Councils can often be asked to intervene in situations where there is a clash of lifestyles or a disagreement, but this does not necessarily mean that ASB is taking place. Example of this could include:
- Ball games – download the NBBC advice leaflet on ball games
- Parking disputes
- Youths congregating.
When NBBC is deciding whether something is ASB and needing to be investigated as such, careful thought is given to whether the behaviours outlined need to be tackled and whether they are having a detrimental impact on the local population.
You should never take the law into your own hands.
Retaliation by carrying out the same behaviour as the perpetrator eg. turning up your music as well is not acceptabe. You could end up behaving anti socially yourself and affecting the lives of other people living around you who have nothing to do with the problems between yourself and your neighbour.
Speaking Face to Face with your Neighbour
Speaking directly to your neighbour is usually the best approach to ASB as a lot of people are reasonable if approached in person. Remember, people can be unaware that they or someone in their household are causing you a nuisance. Please note – if you do not think it is safe or you feel uncomfortable approaching your neighbour talk to NBBC first by calling 024 7637 6376.
Preparation before approaching your neighbour
Think what you want to say before approaching your neighbour:
- Have a clear and simple message in mind and don’t stray from the main issue.
- Be clear about what the problem is and how if affects you.
- Try talking to a friend, your housing officer (council tenants) or a local advice agency such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) about the problem as this may help you get it clear in your mind.
When you speak to your Neighbour
When you speak to your neighbour try to stay calm and friendly:
- Explain what the problem is, how you feel and how if affects you. Often you neighbour may not even realise that a problem exists.
- Listen to your neighbour and think about what they are saying. They too will have a view and better results can be achieved if people listen as well as talk.
- Try not to shout or use bad language even if your neighbour does. It will help if you keep in control.
- Avoid bringing up incidents from the past, especially if they are not relevant to the present dispute. Try instead to think how you want things to change for the future.
- If your neighbour is aggressive or unreasonable – leave the discussion.
Of course there are times when neighbours have fallen out over an issue and cannot agree on a solution. Mediation is a way of getting two people to communicate with each other in order to solve a problem by meeting face to face supported by two trained mediators
Mediation has been successful in solving many neighour disputes. In the Nuneaton area cases referred by the council are carried out free of charge by an independent organisation called Mediation and Community Support. For more information on mediation please speak to the NBBC’ Anti Social Behaviour Officers in the Communities Team.
So how do I report ASB?
You can report persistent ASB of any kind to NBBC either by phone on 024 7637 6376 or email email@example.com. Anti social behaviour committed by council housing tenants will be dealt with by their NBBC Housing Officer.
Anti social behaviour committeed by people in other types of social housing should be reported direct to the various landlord organsations. You can find contact details for the main social landlords in Nuneaton on the NBBC Website.
If the property is privately owned, rented or you’re unsure who the landlord is, report the matter to the Anti Social Behaviour Officers in the NBBC .
ASB in public areas such as parks, shopping centres and car parks should be reported to the Communities Team, but may need to be reported to the police at the time it is happening as well. You can contact the local police on 101. Please note – in an emergency always call 999.