Antisocial behaviour


The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 defines antisocial behaviour (ASB) as acting in a manner that has "caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household" as the perpetrator.

About antisocial behaviour

ASB can be several different things. Low level ASB can be a one off argument. For example, it could be an argument with a neighbour over the location of a refuse bin on collection day or an overhanging tree. On the other end of the spectrum, high level ASB could include criminal behaviour such as harassment, drug use or drug dealing.

Some ASB can involve more than one type of behaviour. It can also escalate from a low level situation to medium or high level, impacting more than one person or household.

It is important to note that the nature of the ASB will determine which agency will lead on resolving it.

Impact on the community

ASB can impact people very differently. For example, household noise at a reasonable hour may go unnoticed by some households. For others, it could have a considerable impact where individuals feel significantly distressed.

For this reason, we consider complaints on a case by case basis and undertake a full risk assessment. High risk cases and cases that involve vulnerable individuals take priority.

We follow council policy when responding to unreasonably persistent or abusive complainants.

How to report an issue

Criminal acts or serious antisocial behaviour

Examples of criminal acts or serious antisocial behaviour (ASB) are:

  • revving car engines, racing, wheel spinning or playing loud music from a vehicle
  • riding a motorbike in a public space
  • domestic abuse
  • non-domestic violence or threat of violence
  • harassment (all types including malicious communication)
  • drug-related activity
  • criminal damage
  • drinking alcohol in the streets
  • ASB involving groups and gatherings

Report these to the police, especially if anyone's welfare is at risk.

You can make a report to Thames Valley Police online or by phoning 101.

In an emergency, dial 999.

Report ASB to Thames Valley Police

If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact CrimeStoppers by phoning 0800 555111 or using their online form.

Report ASB anonymously to CrimeStoppers

Environmental issues

Environmental Health's the Public Protection Partnership (PPP) can support you with the following issues:

  • problems with loud music
  • nuisance neighbours
  • abandoned vehicles
  • dangerous buildings
  • defective drainage
  • discarded needles
  • filthy or verminous
  • fly tipping
  • high hedges
  • hoarding
  • invasive weeds
  • mediation
  • pest control
  • smoke and bonfires

Not all issues are investigated by the PPP. Partner agencies may look into your complaint.

Before you report an issue to the PPP, read their nuisance neighbours information. You may find that you can resolve this issue yourself.

The PPP are not able to help with all issues. Find out what neighbourhood nuisances the PPP cannot help with.

Report an issue to the PPP

Civil disputes

Disputes over parking and property boundaries need the expertise of professionals. In these situations, you need to contact a solicitors for advice.

Issues involving housing association properties

If your complaint is about a person who lives in a housing association property, use the list below to contact the organisation:

When to contact us

If the ASB you need to report is not covered by the above, you can report it to us. All reports are risk-assessed. We look at the impact, how often it is happening and whether it is escalating.

We are unlikely to be able to support with the following:

  • footsteps or walking on wooden or laminate flooring
  • slamming doors
  • moving furniture
  • intermittent banging
  • DIY at a reasonable hour
  • children playing or crying
  • people talking
  • noise generated from domestic appliances at a reasonable hour
  • cooking smells
  • children playing outdoors in the locality of their home or ball games
  • one-off parties
  • car repairs
  • actions which amount to people being unpleasant to each other
  • people staring
  • complaints about other people’s lifestyles that may offend you, including:
    • who people socialise with
    • parenting styles
    • how people dress

We acknowledge that poor sound insulation is a problem in many houses and flats. It can often result in hearing domestic noise from a neighbour. This can be a nuisance for some people, especially those who are sensitive to noise. But you should expect to hear a certain amount of noise from your neighbours and not all are classed as ASB.

We ask that everyone is considerate to their neighbours and those living around them. This is particularly important late at night and early in the morning.

If we can help, you will need to complete diary sheets detailing the ASB you are experiencing. We need these to build a picture of what is happening. If no ASB is recorded within 6 weeks of a case being opened and no other evidence has been provided, your case will close automatically.

We recognise that ASB can cause harm to a victim’s wellbeing. Whether it is a one-off incident or a pattern of behaviour, we take all reports we receive seriously. We carry out detailed risk assessments to make sure that a proportionate response is used.

There are several pieces of legislation that can be used to tackle ASB. Where we are the lead agency for a case, we will explore all options.

At times, those involved in the dispute are best placed to resolve the issue. We would always encourage this approach as the first step

The PPP gives advice on resolving conflict between neighbours.

Read 10 tips on speaking to your neighbours for help with resolving a dispute on your own.

If you are unable to resolve a dispute, the PPP's mediation service offers further support.

Report ASB to us

We are unable to accept anonymous reports as we cannot always accurately assess, or act on the information provided. Anonymous reports prevent us from taking any action

Contact information

Community Safety Service

Phone: 01344 352999 (answerphone)

In the event of an emergency, call Thames Valley Police on 999 or 101 in a non-emergency.