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Anti-Social Behaviour

Definition and consequences of anti-social behaviour in the community

What is antisocial behaviour?

Antisocial behaviour is defined as ‘behaviour by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household as the person’ (Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 and Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011).

Northumbria Police describe Antisocial Behaviour as being any situation where someone does something which has a harmful effect on another person or group’s quality of life. There are three main categories for antisocial behaviour, depending on how many people are affected:

  • Personal antisocial behaviour is when a person targets a specific individual or group.
  • Nuisance antisocial behaviour is when a person causes trouble, annoyance or suffering to a community.
  • Environmental antisocial behaviour is when a person’s actions affect the wider environment, such as public spaces or buildings.

Within these 3 main categories, Antisocial Behaviour falls into one of 13 different types:

Vehicles that appear to have been left by their owner, rather than stolen and abandoned. It includes scrap or ‘end of life’ vehicles and those damaged at the scene of a road traffic collision that have been abandoned and aren’t awaiting recovery.

Situations where animals are creating a nuisance or people’s behaviour associated with the use of animals is deemed as antisocial. It includes uncontrolled animals, stray dogs, barking, fouling and intimidation by an animal.

Begging or asking for charitable donations in a public place, or encouraging a child to do so, without a license. Unlicensed ticket sellers at or near public transport hubs may also fall into this category.

Includes fly posting and discarding litter, rubbish or drugs paraphernalia in any public place.

Includes the inappropriate use of fireworks, the unlawful sale or possession of fireworks and noise created by fireworks.

Communication by phone that causes anxiety and annoyance, including silent calls and intrusive ‘cold calling’ from businesses. It does not cover indecent, threatening or offensive behaviour which should be reported as crimes.

Any activity involving prostitution such as loitering, displaying cards or promoting prostitution. It may also refer to activities in and around a brothel that impact on local residents. It does not include ‘kerb-crawling’ which should be reported as a crime.

General nuisance behaviour in a public place or a place to which the public have access, such as private clubs. It does not include domestic-related behaviour, harassment or public disorder which should be reported as crimes.

Rowdy behaviour or general nuisance caused by neighbours, including boundary and parking disputes. It also covers noise nuisance from parties or playing loud music. 

Unlicensed drinking in public spaces, where the behaviour of the persons involved is deemed as antisocial and includes unplanned and spontaneous parties which encroach on the street.

Where people have entered land, water or premises without lawful authority or permission, from taking an unauthorised shortcut through a garden to setting up unauthorised campsites.

Street cruising (driving up and down the street causing annoyance and bothering other road users), vehicle convoys and riding or driving on land other than a road. Includes misuse of go-peds, motorised skateboards and electric-propelled cycles, and the unlicensed dealing of vehicles where a person has two or more vehicles on the same road within 500 metres of each other.

All of the above marked with * are the commonest causes of complaint about student behaviour when they are living in the community.

Penalties for any of the above can include the following:

  • one-off fines (fixed-penalty notices) and penalty notices for disorder
  • parenting orders (e.g. getting parents to make sure the child attends school)
  • individual support orders to tackle the underlying causes of antisocial behaviour
  • noise abatement notices
  • injunctions
  • moving crowds away from problem areas (dispersal powers)
  • drug-house closure orders
  • premises closure orders
  • possession proceedings
  • arrest and jail sentences

When Northumbria University receive a report of behaviour, which is classed as antisocial in the wider community they will always consider the concerns where it has been identified that Northumbria students are involved. Please see our ASB Protocol for further information about what this means.

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