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You are here:home > Living > Safer Southampton > ASB

Anti-Social Behaviour Team

Photograph of a street

Everyone wants to live in a safe area free from crime and harassment. We realise that this isn’t always possible and that anti-social behaviour can cause real problems in your neighbourhood.

Anti-social behaviour is when someone causes harassment, alarm or distress to any person not of the same household. The impact of anti-social behaviour is far-reaching and can have a detrimental effect on communities.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Team is made up of Area Investigators, Project Officers and Neighbourhood Watch. We work closely with the police, local groups in your area and other Council teams to help find answers to repeated problems of anti-social behaviour.

If you are affected by anti-social behaviour, please report it: either follow the link above and complete a form online, or see the different methods of reporting. We can only take action if we are aware it is happening. Report it and we can act on it.

Frequently asked questions regarding anti-social behaviour

1. Anti-social behaviour, What is it?

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.

2. Are my reports of anti-social behaviour confidential?

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.

3. How do I report anti-social behaviour?

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.

4. If I report it, what can you do about anti-social behaviour?

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.

5. What can I do to make sure my child is behaving responsibly?

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.

6. What does the Council do to assist parents when their child is not behaving responsibly?

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.

7. What happens when I report anti-social behaviour?

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.

8. What is an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)/Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)?

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.

9. What is the difference between crime and anti-social behaviour?

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.

Our promise to you

1. We will:

1. Always treat you fairly with dignity and respect, making sure you have fair access to our services at a time that is reasonable and suitable for you.

2. Provide you with clear information about how to report incidents of anti-social behaviour.

3. Take all reported incidents/complaints of anti-social behaviour seriously whether made in person, in writing or over the telephone.

4. Identify vulnerable victims and ensure that they receive an appropriate level of additional support.

5. Refer your case to Victim Support if appropriate.

6. Deal with victims and witnesses sympathetically and treat any information you provide in confidence and in accordance with legal requirements.

7. Assess all incidents/complaints to work out an appropriate response.

8. Work closely with the Police, who will deal with reports of anti-social behaviour requiring an immediate response (see Policing Pledge).

9. Provide regular information to the community on what action is being taken to tackle anti-social behaviour.

10. Respond to every message directed to our Anti-Social Behaviour team swiftly, within three working days, and where necessary, provide a more detailed response as soon as we can.

11. Keep you informed about your case and provide you with updates (within timescales agreed with you).

12. Provide you with the name of the case worker who will act as a single point of contact and respond to your concerns.

13. Provide you with appropriate support and practical help together with our partners.

14. Where appropriate provide you with log sheets to record details of incidents. We will then regularly review this information and agree what action can be taken.

15. Consider the full range of criminal and civil actions that can be taken against the individual(s) causing the problems.

16. Review your case with you at least monthly, or more frequently if required.

17. Tell you when the case has been closed and the result of the investigation.

18. Give you an opportunity to provide feedback about the process during and at the end of the case.

2. In serious or persistent cases or where the victim/witness is considered vulnerable we will:

19. Refer your case to the local Victim Support Service who will be able to offer you additional support and advice.

20. Hold a multi-agency meeting to ensure that all agencies are providing you with the appropriate support, doing all they can to keep you safe, and prevent further victimisation or harassment.

3. Where a case proceeds to legal proceedings we will:

21. Support you through the process of making a statement.

22. Help you attend court in any associated hearings.

23. Offer you a tour of the court that you are attending prior to the trial.

24. Offer you the use of a private room (subject to availability) while waiting at the court.

25. Ask the court (where appropriate) for special measures for vulnerable witnesses.

Contact information