Antisocial behaviour is a significant problem in many areas of the UK, and has recently increased substantially. Our team of Darlington private investigators, alongside the rest of our detectives in the North East and beyond, have worked to solve antisocial behaviour problems in cities as far away as London.
Before that, we’ll examine what antisocial behaviour means – and what you can do to deal with it.
What is Antisocial Behaviour?
Antisocial behaviour is defined as ‘behaviour by a person which causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household as the person’.
The Metropolitan Police break down antisocial behaviour into three primary categories, and it usually depends on how many people have been affected by the behaviour. These include:
Personal antisocial behaviour – when a specific person or group is targeted
Nuisance antisocial behaviour – when a person is causing trouble, annoyance or suffering to a community
Environmental antisocial behaviour – when a person’s actions are affecting a wider environment, such as an entire building or public space.
Within these three groups, there are 13 types of antisocial behaviour that the Met Police identify. We’ll be focusing more on nuisance and environmental antisocial behaviour in this article, but we’re available to contact if you’re looking to deal with personal/targeted antisocial behaviour.
What counts as antisocial behaviour?
The following are some types of antisocial behaviour that we’ll be taking a look at over this article. If you’re not sure if something is antisocial behaviour, a good guideline to follow is by asking if it causes a nuisance and annoyance.
- Nuisance neighbours – neighbours are noisy, trespass, graffiti, dump rubbish, harass residents or have a dog that causes trouble.
- Littering or drugs paraphernalia – fly tipping, discarding litter and leaving rubbish/drug paraphernalia in a public place.
- Street drinking – unlicensed drinking in a public place, with antisocial behaviour. Also covers parties that spill onto the street.
- Tresspassing – people entering land/water/premises without lawful authority or permission. This includes your garden.
- Nuisance noise – all noise issues that don’t involve neighbours.
- Vehicle nuisance or inappropriate use – street cruising, driving on land other than roads. This also covers smaller vehicles like go-peds, motorised skateboards and electric-propelled cycles.
- Rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour – general nuisance behaviour in a public place (or a place the public have access to).
What can you do about antisocial behaviour?
Whether it’s a disruptive neighbour or local youths, antisocial behaviour can have far-reaching consequences on its victims. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons the police will often be slow or reluctant to take action against specific antisocial behaviour. The good news is that there are steps you can take to deal with a consistent antisocial problem.
If you’ve already got in touch with the police, you may recognize some of this advice – if you’ve followed it to no avail, we recommend considering a private investigator to help with antisocial behaviour.
Remember: in an emergency, always call 999 first.
1. Contact your local police or council
Local authorities and the police are required to treat any antisocial behaviour seriously if it affecting you or your family. You also have a right to expect this of them, which involves them taking action and professionally communicating to you what they are doing.
Your local council also have their own powers dedicated to tackling antisocial behaviour. Each council has a named person or team dedicated to dealing with antisocial behaviour, and anyone in this position will have received government training in fighting ASB.
Getting in touch with a local authority is often only the first step in stopping antisocial behaviour. Going on record with your problems is the right thing to do, because it establishes a timeline of issues that can force further action if the antisocial behaviour hasn’t been dealt with appropriately.
2. If problems are coming from a rented building, contact the landlord
Most people might think that antisocial behaviour is the responsibility of the council or police alone to fix, but responsibility also falls to a landlord if antisocial behaviour is occurring in a building they rent out.
Contact the landlord in question – if you don’t know, check with your local council registry and inform him of any antisocial behaviour their tenants have been doing. If you’re not comfortable with contacting them in person, the antisocial behaviour team mentioned above will often do it for you if you contact them.
If a tenant is acting in a way likely to cause alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to anyone in or around their homes, a private landlord is responsible for preventing it. Although this doesn’t help if tenants are being antisocial further away from their home, it’s an effective course of action for dealing with an antisocial neighbour in the immediate vicinity.
If a landlord won’t try and stop the behaviour, your local council can serve an ABN – antisocial behaviour notice – on them, which orders them to take specific action to deal with the ASB. If they continue to ignore this notice, the council can stop the landlord collecting rent or even take control of the property themselves to deal with the antisocial behaviour themselves.
3. Collect Evidence
As we’ve previously talked about on another page, local police and councils will often be reluctant to act without being provided evidence that antisocial behaviour is occurring. The problem is that lots of neighbourhood issues are spontaneous, and have stopped or moved on by the time anyone is sent out to deal with it.
To force action, take matters into your own hands and collect evidence that can be used by local authorities to deal with the problem. There’s a variety of options you can use to collect evidence, and these include:
Diary sheets are an effective way to provide proof that antisocial behaviour has been an ongoing problem for a certain amount of time. Keeping a written log helps paint a more detailed picture for whichever agencies you’ve involved, and if it’s an issue like youths causing problems in the neighbourhood then it may help the police narrow down what times would be most effective to break them up ahead of time.
Keep a diary that includes the date, time and place that antisocial behaviour happened, what you were doing, and how you felt about it. You can contact your council’s antisocial team to get official forms for this that can be used in court, or have a private investigator provide them for you.
For people who are intimidated or living in fear of whoever is responsible for antisocial behaviour, it can be good to know that it doesn’t have to be you that speaks out. A professional witness – which we can provide – can stand up in court and provide solid evidence that something happened.
Keep any threats or communications that you receive.
If whoever is causing you distress has written to you (through letter, email, text or any sort of social media contact) then save and keep all contact as evidence. This will not only provide evidence that antisocial behaviour has occurred, it also escalates matters if you can prove you’re being threatened.
Organise a petition.
By gathering a petition from local residents, you can prove that you’re not the only person suffering from antisocial behaviour. This can be an effective means of demonstrating to authorities that antisocial behaviour is a bigger issue than they might have believed, prompting more prioritized action.
Gather video/audio evidence
Physical, recorded evidence of antisocial behaviour is irrefutable and can be used to prove that the problem exists. This evidence can include videos of the behaviour underway or audio recordings that undeniably displays what’s going on. Similar to keeping records of threats and using professional witnesses, video and audio recordings makes for excellent evidence in court – if it’s done properly. Make sure that the content is clear, identifies the perpetrators, and displays the perceived wrongdoing. For a noisy neighbour, the council may offer to install a noise-tracking device that can help investigate further.
How can a private investigator help with antisocial behaviour?
If you’re feeling exhausted by the process of fighting antisocial behaviour in your neighbourhood, there’s no need to give up and accept it as a way of life. Antisocial behaviour should never be tolerated, and if you’re growing frustrated with the way it’s being handled then perhaps it’s time to put your case in the hands of a private investigator.
Unlike the council or police, we can dedicate full-time efforts to building a thorough, detailed investigation for your antisocial issues. We’ve got experience in the process of combating these problems, from on-the-ground evidence gathering to providing statements in court. We’ll work on your case by:
- Provide diary sheets, and use our experience to advise you on how to fill them out in ways that show the most evidence possible.
- Capture video and audio evidence of antisocial behaviour occurring – with years of experience in surveillance and evidence gathering, we know how to produce irrefutable proof that can put undeniable faces, names or voices to your case.
- Collect and collate evidence you may already have, and turn them into presentable evidence for the police, landlord or courts.
- Interview victims of antisocial behaviour, gathering professional statements that are accepted in legal proceedings.
- Act as professional witnesses in court cases.
A victim often struggles to provide all this to the correct level of quality required due to the massive cost in time that they simply cannot afford to spare. By hiring a private investigator, you’ll be handing your case off to someone who will fiercely fight for your local antisocial problems to come to an end.
For many people dealing with antisocial behaviour often feel like they’re getting nowhere by following the process, so it can often put them off pursuing it any further. IC Investigations believe that you should never accept behaviour that makes you feel unsafe or unhappy in your own neighbourhood, and private investigators like ourselves in the North East and beyond often have an intimate knowledge of the process that translates into a more thorough – and sometimes expedited – call to action against ASB.
Private Investigators in your area are ready to help you fight antisocial behaviour.
If you’ve finished this article and you think that the next step in your fight is to bring in a local private investigator, you won’t be the only one that’s turned to handing your case to a professional. In all cases, results matter – especially for issues like antisocial behaviour that can adversely affect your quality of life for months.
IC Investigations operates all across the UK, and have detectives ready to work in Darlington, Hartlepool, London, Newcastle, York, Durham, Middlesbrough, Manchester and more. We’re willing to send a private investigator to anywhere in the UK, and are happy to have a no-obligations chat regarding your experiences and options regarding antisocial behaviour.
If you’d like to talk more, you can message us on Facebook or find our phone number and email on our contact page. We won’t charge you for coming to us with advice, and will be happy to recommend your best option even if that means something that does not involve a private investigator.