Tackling anti-social behaviour

Dealing with anti-social behaviour can often be as complex as the behaviour is itself; and there may be different approaches (both informally and formally) taken to resolve the problem.

Informal Resolutions

Anti-social behaviour of a low level may be better dealt with through an informal resolution.

Some of the more informal sanctions can be

  • giving the offender a warning either verbally or in writing;
  • reimburse for any damage caused;
  • getting the offender to identify, acknowledge and try to resolve the causes of the behaviour (i.e. does the offender only behave in a certain way when they have been drinking alcohol);
  • having the offender agree to an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC) – a voluntary agreement between the offender and appropriate organisations such as the police, local council or housing provider that commits the offender to abide by the terms of the contract until such time as the anti-social behaviour has diminished.

Formal Powers and Tools

When informal sanctions have not stopped the anti-social behaviour from occurring, the police and council are able to look at more substantial and formal powers – often through the courts. The offenders will have to abide by these sanctions or face more serious punishment such as a prison sentence.

New powers were introduced in late 2014 and early 2015 as detailed below and more information on each can be found here.

Criminal Behaviour Order 

Is granted in court on the back of any criminal conviction. The order will stop an individual from carrying out the anti-social behaviour but can also make them undertake a positive requirement to change their behaviour.

Civil Injunction

Similar to the Criminal Behaviour Order but there does not have to be a criminal conviction to apply for an Injunction. An injunction can be granted against anyone aged over 10years and can be granted on the basis that an individual is likely to commit anti-social behaviour.

Community Protection Notice 

Can be issued by the council to stop unreasonable and persistent behaviour that is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those living in an area.

Public Spaces Protection Order 

Can be issued by the council to stop anti-social activities being carried out in a public space such as a local community park etc.

Dispersal Power 

Used by the police to move individuals out of a specified area for up to 48hrs.

Closure Power 

Used by the police or council to shut down premises or close off open space that is being used to cause anti-social behaviour for up to a maximum of 6 months.