The Crime and Disorder Act 1988 defines anti-social behaviour as 'acting in a manner that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the complainant'.
How many times it happens, and how serious the problems are, are important and the behaviour need not be against the law.
Yes. All calls to this unit are treated as confidential under the Data Protection Act. You do not have to worry about anyone finding out who you are.
If you are a victim or witness of anti-social behaviour, you can give evidence but stay anonymous. This type of evidence is called hearsay.
A police officer or other professional witness (e.g. a council official, health worker, teacher or doctor) can also give evidence in court on behalf of a vulnerable witness.
There are a number of ways to report anti-social behaviour, you can either use the online reporting system on the top of the right hand side of this page, or you can visit the reporting page.
We take reports of anti-social behaviour seriously and tackle them in a range of ways. We get involved at an early stage. This is called intervention.
Early interventions, such as early warnings, visits and letters are very important in stopping any problems getting worse.
The purpose of any intervention is to:
- Protect victims, witnesses and the community
- Help the person responsible for the problem to recognise the result of their behaviour
- Make sure the person responsible changes their behaviour
Measures that can be used by Southampton City Council and the police against the person responsible include:
- Warning letters and interviews or Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs)
- Parenting Orders, Parenting Programmes working with the whole family
- Individual Support Orders (ISOs), Noise Abatement Notices, Injunctions (ASBIs), Dispersal powers and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)
- 'Crack house’ closure orders
- Demotion Orders, Possession proceedings against a tenant.
The most effective interventions help individuals improve their behaviour. When taking action against the people responsible, investigators will also look at how to improve your neighbourhood, with upgraded lighting or fencing, or other enhancements.
If you would like more information about any of these interventions, please contact the Anti-Social Behaviour Team using the contact details at the foot of this page.
Being a parent is not always easy - but we know that using good parenting skills can improve your child’s life chances and reduce bad behaviour.
When your child is not with you, think about the following questions:
Do you know where your child is?
Do you know who they are with?
Do you know what they are doing?
Have they been drinking?
Your support as a parent or guardian helps us. We can deal with the problems of juvenile nuisance and anti-social behaviour more effectively.
If you would like more information on parenting issues around anti-social behaviour, please contact us using the contact details at the foot of this page.
We employ parenting experts who work with parents and carers to prevent young people from committing anti-social behaviour. They can refer families to appropriate one-to-one and group parenting programmes and offer support by linking families with other agencies.
Parenting experts can also advise on appropriate support or enforcement for parents who have been contacted by the Anti-Social Behaviour Team. They help to generally improve parenting provision and build respect in the communities of Southampton.
If you would like more information please visit the Family Support pages.
We can only make a case against anyone accused of anti-social behaviour with your help and if we have sufficient evidence.
If you are reporting an ongoing problem, one of our area ASB Investigators may call you to talk about the problems in more detail. They may take a statement from you or you may be given diary sheets to record the details of the behaviour as it happens. If the anti-social behaviour is serious the police may be involved.
We record all reports of anti-social behaviour; they are sorted by area and taken to monthly area meetings led by our Anti-Social Behaviour Team. ‘Hotspot’ areas and repeat ‘offenders’ are discussed by staff from council teams, local agencies and the police at these meetings and decisions are made about what action or interventions should be taken.
When a person has shown anti-social behaviour for six months and when the court believes that a person will not stop behaving in this way, they can be given an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO). It is a civil order that protects the public. Anyone aged tenor over can be given an ASBO. ASBOs are not meant to punish the person and do not appear on their criminal record. If the order is broken it is a criminal offence.
If a person is involved in low-level anti-social behaviour and has been warned before, they can be given an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC). An ABC is a non-legally binding written agreement between the police or council and the offender. An ABC outlines what the person should or should not do and what will happen if the agreement is broken.
Anti-social behaviour is causing harassment, alarm and/or distress to other people. It includes noise nuisance, vandalism, graffiti, verbal abuse and intimidation. It is usually ongoing and is usually from people who are known to you.
Crime is something that is against the law. It could be theft, assault, fraud or selling drugs.
It is usually a one-off event, usually from people not known to you.
Both crime and anti-social behaviour are serious matters.