ASB is behaviour which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm, or distress.
It is the day-to-day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder that make many people’s lives a misery.
North Wales Police Anti-Social Behaviour Officer, Llinos Preece said: “When you say anti-social behaviour, I think people tend to think of youths and neighbourhood disputes, but in fact, it covers almost every crime you can think of.
“Any behaviour that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, is persistent or unreasonable that is having an impact on the community, is classed as ASB.”
Today, as part of ASB Awareness Week, we are highlighting what you can do if you’re a victim of ASB, where and how to report it and how ASB can be tackled in your area.
There are several different agencies involved in tackling anti-social behaviour, including the local authority, housing associations and the police.
Early intervention is important in ensuring that ASB can be tackled effectively.
As soon as a problem begins to develop, report it to the local agencies yourself wherever possible and begin to gather evidence to support your concerns.
An incident may seem small to begin with, but antisocial behaviour can go on for a long time and become very serious.
Not all ASB is classed as crime, but a lot of it is, or can become a crime. If you feel that you are at immediate risk or in danger – contact the police straight away.
Other people in your neighbourhood might be suffering from the same issues that you are – if as many people as possible feel able to report the issue, there is a much greater chance of it being taken seriously and tackled at an early stage.
The ‘ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014’ is there to enable the effective use of new powers to tackle ASB. Many other agencies also exercise functions under the act to respond to incidents.
Here are the six ways the police, and your local authority, can tackle ASB.
Civil injunctions – to stop or prevent individuals engaging in ASB quickly, nipping problems in the bud before they escalate.
Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO) – issued by any criminal court against a person who has been convicted of an offence to tackle the most persistently anti-social individuals who are engaged in criminal activity.
Dispersal power – requires a person committing or likely to commit ASB, crime or disorder to leave an area for up to 48 hours.
Community Protection Notice (CPN) – to stop a person aged 16 or over, business or organisation committing ASB which spoils the community’s quality of life.
Public Spaces Protection Order – designed to stop individuals or groups committing ASB in a public place
Closure Power – to allow the police or council to close premises quickly which are being used, or likely to be used, to commit nuisance or disorder.
What is a ASB Case Review (Community Trigger)?
The ASB Case Review, also known as a Community Trigger, is there to give victims and communities the right to request a multi-agency review of their case if they are not satisfied with the response that they initially received.
If you (or others with your consent) have reported three or more incidents within a six-month period, you can activate the Community Trigger by contacting your local authority. The incidents must have caused harassment, alarm, or distress.
There will be a multi-agency case review which involves various agencies, which could include local Police, Local Authority, Housing Associations, and the NHS.
The aim of the process is to ensure that the concerns of victims are properly considered, a problem-solving approach is adopted to ensure that all drivers and causes of the behaviour are identified and a solution sought.
What is the Yellow Card scheme?
The yellow card scheme was introduced by the police to tackle low-level anti-social behaviour.
If police have evidence of a person under 18 behaving anti-socially, they issue a yellow card, inform the parents, and refer the matter to Youth Justice Services. Youth Justice Services write to the parents and offer support.
It’s a proven way of deterring anti-social behaviour. In North Wales, a significant percentage of youths issued with a first yellow card never come to police attention again.
Yellow cards can also be issued to adults who are responsible for low level anti-social behaviour.