What is anti-social behaviour?
Respect, for each other and for the area in which we live, is at the heart of strong communities. Everyone has the right to live without having to put up with antisocial behaviour. It damages people’s quality of life, and it damages our communities.
Antisocial behaviour includes everything from dog fouling and litter to substance abuse and serious harassment.
Effective solutions to antisocial behaviour problems are not the responsibility of a single organisation.
Individuals, council services, victims and witnesses, the police, schools, businesses and many other individuals and groups have a role to play and help tackle antisocial behaviour. Problems can often be sorted out simply by talking things through in a respectful way.
The Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 says that antisocial behaviour is when someone acts in a way that;
“…causes or is likely to cause alarm or distress to anyone; or behaves in a way likely to cause alarm or distress to at least one person not of the same household as them.”
- Nuisance behaviour
- Rowdy Behaviour
- Intimidation and Harassment
- Criminal damage/vandalism
- Drug/substance misuse
- Misuse of public space
- Abandoned cars
- Car Crime
You can use our online form to contact our ASB resolution team directly.
How do we deal with ASB?
Following a thorough review of National Antisocial Behaviour Policy the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) jointly published their Framework for tackling antisocial behaviour, Promoting Positive Outcomes. The Safer Communities team embraces a stepped approach to antisocial behaviour; the four pillars of the framework are;
The Safer Communities Team will note, record and respond promptly to complaints of neighbour nuisance or anti-social behaviour. The team will aim to arrange an initial interview with the complainer within five working days of the complaint being made; all complaints are dealt with in a confidential manner, working under the information commissioners’ code of practice Information Commissioners Office
Serious complaints of Anti-Social Behaviour will be given priority and investigated immediately. We will investigate each incident on a case by case basis and if required we will speak to neighbours or witnesses and contact other agencies for any information that may help the investigation of the case. The team will begin to investigate the case as near to the date of receipt of the complaint as possible.
Once the investigation is complete the Safer Communities team will decide upon the most appropriate course of action and will endeavour to keep the complainer up to date and notify them of progress within 20 working days, of the date of the initial complaint. In some cases the investigation will take longer to conclude. Our primary aim is to prevent Anti-social behaviour by providing support and interventions to individuals by working in partnership with other services. Often when we receive complaints we discover the person being complained about is a vulnerable adult or child and it is our duty to work with other services to provide interventions to work with individuals. This is often very time consuming and rarely solved quickly.
It should be noted that we only apply for Anti-Social Behaviour Orders as a last resort when all possible avenues of support have been exhausted.
Acceptable Behaviour Contracts
What is an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)?
An Acceptable Behaviour Contact (ABC) is an early intervention designed to engage an individual who is involved in unacceptable or antisocial behaviour to acknowledge this behaviour and its impact on other people, with the aim of stopping it.
An ABC is a voluntary written agreement between the perpetrators and one or more local agencies charged with preventing such behaviour for example Police, Housing, Education, Social Work and Youth Services, and Voluntary Organisations.
The ABC has no legal standing which is why some agencies prefer to call them Agreements. Although voluntary, ABCs can be a strong deterrent when the individual or family know that if they breach the contract or refuse to enter in to it without acceptable reasons legal action such as an Anti-social Behaviour Order can occur.
The ABC is agreed and signed at a pre arranged meeting with the individual and relevant agencies.
The contract (agreement) specifies the antisocial behaviour that the individual has engaged in and which they agree to desist from
The individual should be encouraged to take part in drawing up the terms of the contract as this will bring home to them the impact of their behaviour on others and may lead to them taking responsibility for their actions.
Support to address the underlying causes of the behaviours and help maintain the terms of the contract should be agreed in parallel to the contract being signed. It is therefore vital to ascertain which agencies are already involved and to engage with those that aren’t but should be.
The consequences of failure to keep to the contract should be stated in the contract especially if legal action is a potential consequence. The threat of legal action is often a powerful incentive to ensure the contract is adhered to.