Tackling ASB – before you make a report
Last updated - 31 October 2017
What we class as ASB
ASB is acting in a manner that caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people not of the same household. It can also be described as behaviour that unreasonably interferes with other people's rights to use their home and community.
Before you contact us with a report of ASB, please ask yourself whether your report fits these definitions. Here are some examples of the reports we would investigate:
- Violence or threats of violence against someone
- Arson or attempted arson and damage to our or someone else’s property
- Alcohol and drug misuse
- Unreasonable and persistent noise
- Neighbour disputes
- Dumping rubbish
- Abandoned cars and other vehicle nuisance
What we don’t class as ASB
Below are some examples of incidents that we would advise you to try to resolve between yourselves or by agreeing to go to mediation:
- One-off indiscriminate noise nuisance (e.g. a party)
- Climbing on buildings (if no damage occurs and the act is not designed to harass or intimidate anyone)
- Ball games (though we might investigate if the noise was persistent - against someone’s wall, for instance)
- Trivial neighbour arguments where there are no witnesses
- Reports that are made solely because of prejudice or intolerance to someone’s lifestyle or characteristics and therefore are deemed to be mischievous/malicious in nature. In such cases, the person making that report might find themselves in breach of their occupancy agreement and action might be taken against them.
Making a report – what we need to know
When you report an incident of ASB please tell us:
- Who you are
- Where you live
- Your contact details
- Whether it was you who was affected or whether you are contacting us on behalf of someone else
- If you have contacted any other organisations about the incident like the police or (in the case of excessive noise) a Council’s Noise Service (environment team).
- Stick to the facts
- Do not exaggerate
- Do not claim to have seen or heard anything unless you have done so first-hand
- Try to be objective at all times even though you might feel anxious or emotional
- Tell us if you have ‘hearsay’ evidence that we can use in our investigations.
What can you do before reporting something to us?
Have you spoken to the person causing you distress? Often this person may not realise the effect they are having on you. The first step is to speak to them and explain how their behaviour is affecting you. If you do speak to someone, try to follow these few tips:
- Keep calm and do not raise your voice
- Explain your problem to them and suggest possible solutions
- Give the other person the opportunity to respond and put forward their point of view
- Try to come to an agreement on what happens next
- Do not make threats or swear and do not retaliate.